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Southfields Academy

Southfields Academy

Radicalisation or Extremism

What is extremism?

'Extremism' can be defined 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.  Also included in the definition is calling for the death of members of the armed forces.

What is radicalisation?

The Government's definition of radicalisation is "The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism."

Under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 stated that authorities, including schools and colleges, must have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".

What does Southfields Academy do to help educate its students?

The Academy has an ethos that challenges intolerant and extremist views and radical attitudes, it also addresses these issues as part of its curriculum, including specific lessons during Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, History and Religious Education

What is the Prevent strategy?

Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism and non-violent extremism which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists can then exploit.  The Prevent strategy makes clear that preventing people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism requires challenge to extremist ideas where they are used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.

What can attract a young person into radicalisation?

Young people can be attracted into radicalisation due to:-

  • Charismatic / confident individuals (recruiters)
  • Networks / sense of belonging
  • Broader community views
  • Persuasive, clear messages
  • Exploiting knowledge gaps

Factors which increase or decrease the risk that a young person may be subject to radicalisation can be found here.

What should you do if you think a young person is in danger of radicalisation?

Some young people will be vulnerable to radicalisation in the same way they are vulnerable to grooming - see our page on Child Exploitation and Grooming.  The grooming of children for the purposes of involvement in extremist activity is child abuse.

Radicalisation is a safeguarding issue, so young people should be referred in the same way as any other concern - see our page on Child Protection.  An outward expression of faith, in the absence of any other indicators of vulnerability, is not a reason to make a referral.

What support is available for young people who are in danger of being radicalised?

The government runs a scheme called Channel for those who at risk of radicalisation.  It focuses on providing support at an early stage and participation is voluntary.

Where can I find out more?

The government has launched a website called Educate Against Hate.

The site brings together the best advice, support and resources available for parents, teachers and school leaders who want to learn how to protect young people from extremism and radicalisation, and is the result of successful collaboration between the Department for Education, the Home Office, the NSPCC, Internet Matters, Childnet, ParentZone, UK Internet Safety Centre, and the many other organisations who have contributed resources.

What happens when a child is referred to MASH due to concerns over radicalisation?

When an individual or agency contacts the local authority regarding a child or young person who they identify as being at risk of, or as being, radicalised, MASH will assess whether the information supplied indicates a risk of radicalisation.  Where the information supplied clearly doesn't indicate risk factors, the person or agency who made contact will be informed of this and why.  If nor further information of risk is supplied and there are no other concerns for the child or young person, no further action will be taken.

Where radicalisation is identified as a potential risk, MASH will carry out an assessment under section 17 of the Children's Act 1989 to identify the child's level of risk and need for service provision and will advise the referrer of the outcome of this assessment.

  • The assessment may identify the child to be at risk of significant harm and in need of protection.  This may necessitate a child protection enquiry under section 47 of the Children Act 1989; or
  • The assessment may indicate that the child is in need and that services are needed to prevent impairment to their health and development
  • Where no concerns are identified, there will be no further action by MASH, but the child may require Early Help or Universal Services.  In these cases the Wandsworth Children's Services will advise the referrer verbally and in writing as to why the agency has taken this position.