Prevent and schools - best practice
What is considered best practice?
The Ofsted Inspection Framework and Inspection Handbook sets out current expectations on schools regarding their work to prevent extremism. In particular, inspectors will be looking to assess:
- ‘The extent to which pupils are able to understand and respond to risk, for example risks associated with extremism’.
- ‘The school’s response to any extremist behaviour shown by pupils’.
Local schools and colleges in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea are therefore encouraged to consider their work (and if necessary take action) to protect children and young people from being drawn into terrorism in the following four areas:
Organise staff training/ Prevent awareness workshops; revisit existing safeguarding policies; utilise anti-bullying or similar log books.
Tackle extremism and tolerance issues within the curriculum; organise external speakers for pupils.
Devise and articulate a shared set of values; incorporate British values within the school ethos.
Business and community
Establish relevant community links; revisit visitors policies; undertake effective due diligence on those seeking to hire out school premises.
Best practice in schools
A new website called Educate Against Hate has recently been created by the Department for Education and the Home Office. The purpose of this site is to provide practical advice and support to help everyone with an interest in keeping children safe from the dangers of extremism. This includes guidance for parents, teachers, and school leaders on the types of measures they could adopt to better protect children and young people from harm.
The London Grid for Learning host a number of useful resources for parents and teachers to learn more about what might constitute an effective counter extremism approach in our schools. In two short clips available on the Counter Extremism website, counter extremism campaigner, Sara Khan, explains how schools will often find that they can meet their new statutory responsibilities by addressing concerns through existing safeguarding procedures.
A local example: In June 2015, the print and online newspaper Schools Week reported on the specialist approach adopted by West London Free School in Hammersmith to address issues around extremism within the curriculum. In particular, what is notable about their approach is the clear attempt to provide pupils with useful reference points about the historical development of extreme ideas. You can read the full article on the Schools Week website.
Local authority best practice
This example of best practice, published by Ofsted, demonstrates how Luton Borough Council and its partners developed a multi-agency approach to addressing safeguarding issues related to radicalisation and extremism within a wider community integration strategy.
The wider aim is to improve practice within the services provided, and to reduce the risks of extremism and radicalisation to children and young people.
Is your school thinking of putting some of these ideas into practice; or are you already doing something similar that could help other educational institutions? We’d welcome your views and ideas.
Get in touch with your local Prevent Engagement Officer using the contact details in the right-hand sidebar.