Radicalisation - This refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism associated with terrorist groups.
Extremism - Is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This also includes calling for the death of members of the armed forces.
Terrorism - Is an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/ people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people. As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. School staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately which may include making a referral to appropriate external sources of support.
In the context of our Trust schools, staff need to be aware that children are at risk of radicalisation from ideologies that are political, religious or extreme in other ways, showing prejudice towards groups. The ‘incel’ ideological group (involuntary celibate) use phrases such as a ‘chad’ and a ‘Stacey’ to negatively identify others who they show hatred towards. We need to be watchful and listen for such phrases, reporting this as a concern using the same school system.
Other signs that a child may be at risk of radicalisation include:
- Language and open reference to ideologies and/or groups
- Changing friendships and/or isolating family/friends
- A disrespectful attitude, more aggressive and/or secretiveness
- Some children attempt to hide their views, refusing to engage in any form of discussion
Radicalisation can be difficult to spot. There is no specific profile for a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas.
Schools must ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE 2021) requires schools to “ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place.” There is additional guidance how to teach pupils to be safe online on the DfE guidance.
We ensure that suitable age appropriate and differentiated filtering is in place. We also teach pupils about online safety more generally. We recognise that no filter can be guaranteed to be 100% effective. The headteacher of each school will check that the school is satisfied that the appropriate monitoring and filtering system is in place to manage threats in liaison with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and IT Network Manager.