From 1 July 2015 there is now a statutory duty on specified authorities to give “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
The duty should be viewed as an extension of the same safeguarding processes that many statutory and charitable sectors already use in order to effectively safeguard children from drugs, gang violence, alcohol abuse, and other forms of harm and crime. Protecting children from radicalisation and extremism is no different.
This includes all forms of extremism: from the ideologies of Neo-Nazi groups to the influences of Al-Qaeda and Da-esh. The grooming of children for the purposes of involvement in violent extremist activity is child abuse and professionals and volunteers working with children and young people should follow their agency, and local area policies and procedures for the safeguarding of children when they have concerns that a child or young person is as at risk of, or is being, exploited in this way.
Additionally, professionals and volunteers working with Children should be mindful that many children are curious, concerned and affected by the issues relating to radicalisation and terrorism.
Expectations for Safeguarding Institutions
Institutions whether statutory or non-statutory should bear in mind the following in relation to the need to safeguarding individuals against radicalisation and extremism.
Are staff aware of how to protect individuals from radicalisation?
Do your policies and procedures need updating to include the risk of radicalisation?
Do you know your local Prevent contact point?
As we know safeguarding young people remains highly important and remote teaching brings with it greater challenges. Children increasingly use social networks to reach out to others and with that there will be an increased risk to fake news and online harms including grooming, radicalisation, exploitation, and bullying. All these issues could impact on their mental health and wellbeing. This is a time when many young people will be vulnerable and unfortunately, the potential for exploitation will be at its highest.
The UK Safer internet Centre has identified the following online risk categories;
Behaviour: sharing too much information
Content: age-inappropriate or unreliable content or fake news
Contact: strangers, bullies, groomers or radicalisers can contact children
Commercialism and financial exploitation: hidden costs of advertising in apps, games and websites
Extremism and radicalisation
Also be aware of the potential increase of fake/poor quality organisations offering online learning to young people. Please ensure that parents and young people are clearly directed to the platform/resources you are recommending and that they are aware of the potential for rogue offers.
Finally, please encourage parents to speak with their children about their online activity. Remind young people of their digital citizenship responsibilities and to look after themselves and others. Any concerns that they have ensure that parents know who to contact at school. And, obviously any concerns about radicalisation parents can also come direct to the Prevent team.Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online material promoting terrorism or extremism can be reported anonymously using the Online Tool on the Gov.UK website.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has a Professionals Online Safety Helpline - 0344 381 4772.
There are a number of resources to support schools in this area including the following:
The NSPCC has produced some useful guidance ‘Undertaking remote teaching safely’.
SWGfl has also provided useful guidance and has a Safe Remote Learning Resource.
Google has also produced a hub of resources for teachers: Teach from Home
Parent Zone are currently offering a free three-month Parent Zone membership to all schools. Membership gives you access to a wealth of resources you can share with families to help them be more digitally resilient.
Below is also a selection of resources available for parents:
National Online Safety have produced a series of top tips guides to support remote learning for Parents, Children and Teachers.
Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline for different age groups and parents.
Childnet has produced a Parent and Carer Toolkit which is a collection of three resources designed to help you talk to your child about their online life, manage boundaries around family internet use and point you in the direction of where to get further help and support.