A new website has been launched to help teachers and parents stamp out the first shoots of radicalisation in UK schools.
Parents and teachers will, for the first time, be able to access support to help them protect children from radical views via the site, which is being hailed a landmark approach to handling the first signs of a hate culture in education.
The new guidelines, announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan are part of a drive to protect children from what she described as a “spell of twisted ideologies”.
The ‘Educate Against Hate’ website will give parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice to protect children from the dangers of extremism, drawing on resources and guidance designed by the government and charities such as the NSPCC and Childnet.
The website accompanies other extra measures to protect children in and out of school, designed to help those closest to children to keep them safe from extreme views.
The move comes just after this week’s announcement by the Prime Minister of a £20 million fund for English tuition aimed at helping Muslim women integrate into the wider community.
Last month the government announced that all schools must put in place strengthened measures to protect children from harm online – including the risk of radicalisation – after concerns that children who travelled or attempted to travel to Syria were able to access material about Daesh and foreign fighters via school computers.
This follows on from July last year when the government started to issue new advice to all schools and childcare providers to coincide with the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which legally requires a range of organisations including schools, local authorities, prisons, police and health bodies to take steps to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Recent events have shown that the risks to young people being targeted by radical groups have risen and should not be underestimated – some school children who travelled or attempted to travel to Syria were able to access material about Daesh and foreign fighters via school computers.
Sarah Carlick, director and founder of safeguarding organisation, The Athena Programme, said of the news:
“This is a great day for the education sector and anyone whose responsibility it is to safeguard school children against radicalisation.
“We work across all industry sectors to promote safety and open mindedness and this will go some way to giving pupils a channel to speak out against race hate and hopefully stifle any attraction towards extreme militants who coldly target them through social media sites and gang culture”.
The instances of children being taken out of school or pupils going missing is on the rise and these new guidelines offer a glimmer of hope to those offering protection.
Useful links to organisations mentioned in the story and relevant news stories and publications:
Education Against Hate website: http://www.educateagainsthate.com/
PM announcment: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/passive-tolerance-of-separate-communities-must-end-says-pm
Safety at home announcement last month: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-keep-children-safe-online-at-school-and-at-home
Last year’s ruling on protecting children from radicalisation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protecting-children-from-radicalisation-the-prevent-duty
Social media guidelines currently in existence: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-use-of-social-media-for-online-radicalisation