Prevent - What is it?
As a society, we are increasingly aware of the awful incidents of terrorism and extremism in our country and other parts of the world. These events affect the community and our students as they often worry about what could happen in their own city. Our PSHE safeguarding curriculum in school ensures that our students have the opportunity to learn about extremism and terrorism and to understand what those words mean and what makes young people vulnerable to being drawn into extremist groups and being radicalised. The Prevent Strategy is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.. All of our staff have had Prevent training as part of their safeguarding training.
What is extremism and radicalisation?
Prevent defines 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. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces”
Radicalisation is defined by the UK Government within this context as “the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.”
The world is a very diverse place and exploring religious and different social beliefs, in a peaceful and non-violent way, is part of growing up and should not be confused with something more sinister. The best way to PREVENT extremism and radicalisation is by open discussion and increased understanding of each other.
As a parent/carer…
- You know your child better than anybody else. Having open, honest conversations on a regular basis will allow your child to explore new ideas in a safe environment.
- Talk to your child about what they are seeing online. Social media such as YouTube and Facebook can be used to groom children towards a certain point of view.
As a school…
- All staff have undergone Prevent training from an accredited trainer.
- We have updated our safeguarding procedures to reflect statutory requirements in the Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
- We have direct contact with the Local Prevent Officer.
- Students are encouraged to discuss and explore issues during PSHE lessons and Assemblies.
- If you have any concerns that someone you know may be at risk of radicalisation, please contact the local police on 101.
- If your concern is of an URGENT nature please dial 999 or the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321.
- If you have a concern about a student at St Matthias Academy please contact Mr Simon Quinn, Prevent Lead on 0117 9031320.
Websites for information
For more information on what Bristol City Council is doing to help tackle extremism, follow the link:
Educate against Hate is a website that provides useful information for parents/carers, follow the link:
Act Early is aimed at family and friends and to reach out to communities. The purpose of the site is to increase awareness of the signs of radicalisation, where to go for help and support and to increase understanding and confidence in the referral process:
Telephone Advice Line
The National Prevent advice line for friends/family/community members to call - 0800 011 3764.
This number will be staffed by Prevent teams to ensure the advice being given is appropriate and consistent.