Prevent Strategy

We’re committed to stopping young people from becoming terrorists or supporting extremist causes, as part of the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy. It covers all types of terrorism and extremism.

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About the Prevent Strategy

We have a duty to safeguard all children, young people and vulnerable adults from the threat of extremist views, the influence of terrorist groups and the dangers of radicalisation. The Prevent Strategy lays out our approach and our responsibilities.

Just like we should be protecting young people and vulnerable adults from drugs or gang violence, Prevent is all about stopping those we’re responsible for being influenced by extremist, violent, right wing views and attitudes.

It’s focused on education, respect and providing a safe place for students to discuss issues, ask questions and share their views. The Prevent Strategy aims to help young people better understand how to protect themselves.

Guide for Parents & Guardians

We all share in the responsibility of protecting young people and vulnerable adults from the threat of terrorism and extremism. We encourage parents and guardians to be actively involved in the Prevent Strategy as well.

The Prevent Strategy isn’t focused on teaching or learning about extremism. It discusses what extremism is, but also educates children and young people about tolerance and mutual respect.

We always make sure that any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of our students.

Extremism can develop in any area, at any time. It can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.

We give children and vulnerable adults the skills to protect themselves from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives, wherever they may be.

As a parent or guardian, there are lots of little things you can do to help keep your children safe, many of which you probably do already. The important thing is to talk to them regularly, understanding what they’re doing and how they’re feeling.

  • Know where your child is, who they are with and check this for yourself
  • Know your child’s friends and their families
  • Be aware of your child’s online activity and update your own knowledge
  • Know what social media and messaging sites your child uses
  • Keep lines of communication open, listen to your child and talk to them about their interests
  • Encourage them to take up positive activities with local groups that you can trust
  • Talk to your child about what they see on the TV or the internet and explain that what they see or read may not be the whole picture allow and encourage debate and questioning on local and world events and help them see different points of view encourage your child to show an interest in the local community and show respect for people from all faiths and backgrounds
  • Help your child to understand the dangers of becoming involved in situations about which they may not have the full information
  • Teach them that expressing strong views and trying to change things for the better is fine but they should not take violent action against others or support those that do
  • Remind your child that people they contact over the internet may be pretending to be someone else or telling them things that are not true
  • Explain that anyone who tells them to keep secrets from their family or teachers is likely to be trying to do them harm or put them in danger

Online

The internet provides entertainment, connectivity and interaction. Children may need to spend a lot of time on the internet while studying, and they may also use other social media and messaging sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, Snapchat or WhatsApp.

These can be useful tools but we need to be aware that there are powerful programmes and networks that use these media channels to reach out to young people and communicate extremist messages.

Through Friends

Young people at risk may display extrovert behaviour, start getting into trouble at school or on the streets and mix with other children who behave badly, but this is not always the case.

Sometimes those at risk may be encouraged by the people they are in contact with not to draw attention to themselves. As part of some forms of radicalisation, parents may feel their child’s behaviour seems to be improving.

Children may become quieter and more serious about their studies, and may also dress more modestly and mix with a group of people that seems to be better behaved than previous friends.

TV and media

The media provides a view on world affairs. However, this is often a very simple version of events which in reality are very complex. Therefore children may not understand the situation fully or appreciate the dangers involved in the views of some groups.

Radicalisation can be really difficult to spot. Signs that may indicate a child is being radicalised include:

  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Talking as if from a scripted speech
  • Unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
  • A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
  • Increased levels of anger
  • Increased secretiveness, especially around internet use
  • Out of character changes in behaviour and peer relationships
  • Showing sympathy for extremist causes

Children who are at risk of radicalisation may have low self-esteem, or be victims of bullying or discrimination. Extremists might target them and tell them they can be part of something special, later brainwashing them into cutting themselves off from their friends and family.

However, these signs don't necessarily mean a child is being radicalised – it may be normal teenage behaviour or a sign that something else is wrong.

If you notice any change in a child's behaviour and you're worried, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000

Young people are exposed to news in many ways, so it would be practically impossible to shelter them from reports of terrorist attacks when they occur.

When talking with your child, it’s ok to agree such attacks are frightening and sad, and that you can’t stop them happening. Avoid complicated, worrying explanations, as they won’t be able to process the information and it could leave them more frightened and confused.

It’s also important to address victimisation following the terrorist attacks.

Some young people will feel targeted because of their faith

It’s important to look for signs of bullying, and make sure that they know they can talk with you about it. Often they’ll feel scared or embarrassed talking about it, so reassure them it is not their fault that this is happening, and that you will help the bullying stop. Alert the College so that we can be aware of the issue.

Offensive or unkind comments about a child’s faith or background in response to the terror attacks

If you think this is happening, it’s important to intervene. Calmly explain that comments like this are not acceptable. Your child should also understand that someone’s beliefs do not make them a terrorist. Explain that most people are as scared and hurt by the attacks as your child is. You could ask them how they think the other child felt, or ask them how they felt when someone said something unkind to them. Explain what you will do next, such as telling the College, and what you expect them to do.

Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Ideology – a set of beliefs

Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause

Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism

We hold regular information workshops for parents, guardians and carers who would like to find out more about the Prevent Strategy. Get in touch with us to find out when the next workshop is and to book a place.

Call 0151 353 4444 or email safeguarding@hughbaird.ac.uk.

Guide for Young People

Prevent is part of the Government counter-terrorism strategy. It's designed to tackle the problem of terrorism at its roots, preventing people from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves. It is about helping individuals who are at risk of radicalisation move away from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Extremism

The Government has defined extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.

Terrorism

Trying to define terrorism can be difficult and controversial, because so many people and countries see it differently. But any definition usually includes:

  • Mass intimidation - trying to make lots of people scared to go about their everyday or normal life
  • Unlawful violence or the threat of violence against the public
  • Violence intended to change a law, culture or political system, or to change how people think or act.

They can come from any background, any community, or any religion or belief. They can be young or old, male or female, rich or poor. They believe that violence or terrorism is an acceptable way of changing how others think or behave.

There are many reasons why this may happen. Here are just some:

  • A lack of identity or belonging
  • Insecurity
  • Defending their culture, way of life or beliefs
  • They may be pressured, or bullied into it
  • They may have been radicalised by violent extremist groups
  • They may want retaliation

Those who encourage or get others to commit acts of violent extremism often target vulnerable people who are led into believing that violence or criminality can earn respect, riches or even glory.

However, even though a person may feel angry about something they believe is unfair, this does not mean they should attack or threaten any person or any community.

Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others. We will give you the skills to protect yourself from any extremist views you may encounter, now or later in your life.

Online

The internet provides entertainment, connectivity and interaction. You will spend a lot of time on the internet while studying, and they may also use other social media and messaging sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, Snapchat or WhatsApp.

These can be useful tools, but you need to be aware that there are powerful programmes and networks that use these media channels to reach out to people like you and your friends and communicate extremist messages.

Friends

Young people at risk may display extrovert behaviour, start getting into trouble at College or on the streets and mixing with other children who behave badly, but this is not always the case.

Sometimes those at risk may be encouraged by the people they are in contact with not to draw attention to themselves. Your friends might become quieter and more serious about their studies, and may also dress more modestly and mix with a group of people that seems to be better behaved than those they normally hang around with.

TV and media

The media provides a view on world affairs. However, this is often a very simple version of events which are in reality very complex. You might not understand the situation fully or appreciate the dangers involved in the views of some groups.

Radicalisation can be really difficult to spot. Signs that may indicate a young person is being radicalised include:

  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Talking as if from a scripted speech
  • Unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
  • A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
  • Increased levels of anger
  • Increased secretiveness, especially around internet use
  • Out of character changes in behaviour and peer relationships
  • Showing sympathy for extremist causes

However, these signs don't necessarily mean they are being radicalised – it may be normal teenage behaviour or a sign that something else is wrong.

If you notice any change in a friend’s behaviour and you're worried, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Tell someone! Anyone can approach any member of staff about Prevent and radicalisation and they will listen to you. We have procedures in place to investigate and deal with this issue and take them seriously.

If you have concerns about your wellbeing or that of others, please share them with any member of staff directly or click on the 'Send a report' button above to send an anonymous message.