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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy


1 . Introduction

Priory Woods School & Arts College is committed to providing a secure environment for it’s pupils, where children feel safe and are kept safe. All adults at Priory Woods School & Arts College recognise that safeguarding is everyone's responsibility irrespective of the role they undertake or whether their role has direct contact or responsibility for children or not.

In adhering to this policy, and the procedures therein, staff and visitors will contribute to Priory Woods School & Arts College’s delivery of the outcomes to all children, as set out in s10 (2) of the Children Act 2004:

the physical, mental health and emotional well-being of children; the protection of children from harm and neglect; the education, training and recreation of children; the contribution made by them to society; and their social and economic well-being.

This Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy is one element within our overall school arrangements to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of all Children in line with our statutory duties.

Our school's Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding Policy also draws upon the guidance contained in DfE Guidance "Keeping Children Safe in Education, March 2015" (when revised - "Keeping Children Safe in Education, September 2018"

2.  Ethos and Practice

When operating this policy Priory Woods School & Arts College uses the following accepted Governmental definition of extremism which is:

'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; and/or calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas'.

There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our school, whether from internal sources — pupils, staff or governors, or external sources - school community, external agencies or individuals. Our pupils see our school as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues safely and where our teachers encourage and facilitate this — we have a duty to ensure this happens.

As a school we recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for children and so should be addressed as a safeguarding concern as set out in this policy. We also recognise that if we fail to challenge extremist views we are failing to protect our pupils.

Extremists of all persuasions aim to develop destructive relationships between different communities by promoting division, fear and mistrust of others based on ignorance or prejudice and thereby limiting the life chances of young people.

Therefore, at Priory Woods School & Arts College we will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that our children are enriched, understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and not marginalised.

Furthermore, at Priory Woods School & Arts College we are aware that young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age which emanate from a variety of sources and media, including via the internet, and at times pupils may themselves reflect or display views that may be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language.

Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils or staff will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our Reward and Behaviour Policy for pupils, and the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures for staff.

As part of wider safeguarding responsibilities school staff will be alert to:

  • Disclosures by pupils of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of school, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where pupils have not actively sought these out;
  • Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images;
  • Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites;
  • Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendship or actions and requests for assistance;
  • Partner schools, local authority services, police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings;
  • Pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives;
  • Use of extremist or 'hate' terms to exclude others or incite violence;
  • Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line with our equalities policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture;
  • Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others;
  • Anti-western or Anti-British views.

Our school will closely follow any locally agreed procedure as set out by the Local Authority and the Safeguarding Children Board's agreed processes and criteria for safeguarding individuals vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation.

British Values

At Priory Woods School & Arts College, we have determined "British Values" to be:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual tolerance and respect

As a school we aim to develop and nurture these by:

  • Planning a vibrant, engaging Assembly programme with core ethical values and beliefs at its heart
  • A well-structured Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship education programme which addresses therequirements of the programmes of study (looking at Democracy, Freedom, the rule of law, Human Rights and responsibilities) as such as our pupils are able to access
  • An effective School Council enabling pupils to actively participate in the democratic process
  • A broad and balanced curriculum which addresses many of these core values across a range of subject areas
  • Having a clearly communicated and consistently applied Reward and Behaviour Policy so that pupils understand what is expected of them and the consequences of both meeting and failing to meet these expectations
  • A Code of Conduct which is regularly referred to and communicated with pupils and staff, reiterating that we are a school community built on mutual respect and understanding
  • Adopting restorative approaches, where possible, to resolve any difficulties between members of our school community
  • Having a rigorous commitment to pupil safety (for example: risk assessments for educational  visits policy and procedures, Safeguarding procedures, Code of Conduct and Health and Safety procedures)

3 . Teaching Approaches

Priory Woods School & Arts College will strive to eradicate the assumptions that can lead to some young people becoming alienated and disempowered. In our school this will be achieved by good teaching, primarily via PSHE; but also by adopting the methods outlined in the Government's guidance 'Teaching approaches that help build resilience to extremism among young people' DfE 2011.

We will ensure that all of our teaching approaches help our pupils build resilience to extremism and give pupils a positive sense of identity through the development of critical thinking skills. We will ensure that all of our staff are equipped to recognise extremism and are skilled and confident enough to challenge it.

We will be flexible enough to adapt our teaching approaches, as appropriate, so as to address specific issues. We will do this through:

  • Making a connection with young people through good teaching and a child centred approach;
  • Facilitating a 'safe space' for dialogue, and
  • Equipping our pupils with the appropriate skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness for resilience.

Our goal is to build mutual respect and understanding and to promote the use of dialogue not violence as a form of conflict resolution.

We will also work with local partners, families and communities in our efforts to ensure our school understands and embraces our local context and values in challenging extremist views and to assist in the broadening of our pupils' experiences and horizons.

We will help support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of our wider safeguarding responsibilities and where we believe a pupil is being directly affected by extremist materials or influences we will ensure that that pupil is offered mentoring. Additionally in such instances our school will seek external support from the Local Authority and/or local partnership structures working to prevent extremism.

At Priory Woods School & Arts College we will promote the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. We will teach and encourage pupils to respect one another and to respect and tolerate difference, especially those of a different faith or no faith.

4 . Use of External Agencies Speakers and Performers

At Priory Woods School & Arts College we encourage the use of external agencies or speakers and performers to enrich the experiences of our pupils, however we will positively vet those external agencies, individuals or speakers who we engage to provide such learning opportunities or experiences for our pupils.

Our school will assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:

  • Any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals;
  • Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion or culture or other ideologies;
  • Activities are properly embedded in the curriculum and clearly mapped to schemes of work to avoid contradictory messages or duplication;
  • Activities are matched to the needs of pupils;
  • Activities are carefully evaluated by the school to ensure that they are effective.
  • Any external speakers are accompanied by a member of staff

5 . Whistle Blowing

Where there are concerns of extremism or radicalisation pupils, staff and Governors will be encouraged to make use of our internal systems to Whistle Blow or raise any issue in confidence.

They must inform the Head teacher straight away (or if it relates to the Head teacher inform the Chair of Governors).

6 .  Safeguarding

Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy for the full procedural framework on our Safeguarding and Child Protection duties.

7 . Role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body of our School will undertake appropriate training to ensure that they are clear about their role and the parameters of their responsibilities as Governors, including their statutory safeguarding duties.

The Governing Body of our school will support the ethos and values of our school and will support the school in tackling extremism and radicalisation.

In line with the provisions set out in the DfE guidance 'Keeping Children Safe in Education, March 2015' the Governing Body will challenge the school's senior management team on the delivery of this policy and monitor its effectiveness.

8 .  Review

Governors will review this policy as required.