Recording incidents of extremism and radicalisation
The counter-terrorism and security bill was granted royal assent on 21 February 2015, which places a statutory duty on named organisations, including schools, to have due regard towards the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.
Ofsted inspects how schools carry out safeguarding and other duties, including the effectiveness of these arrangements to ensure all pupils are safe. This includes the approach in keeping pupils safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism, including what is done when suspected pupils are vulnerable.
The most important part of this security bill is ‘keeping pupils safe from the danger of radicalisation and extremism.’
With such a recent surge of activity and emphasis for schools to adopt and embed a prevent strategy within a very short space of time, senior leadership are struggling to educate themselves – let alone their staff and pupils. Educating staff and pupils is extremely important and as best practise prevails, educating through a whole school approach and zero tolerance policy is helping schools to raise awareness and identify incidents of extremism and radicalisation at it’s early stages.
But whilst waiting for education to filter through to schools and training to be delivered to schools on an ever changing and adapting problem, what can be done to strengthen the prevent strategy in a school.
Report and Record.
Providing pupils with a voice and a safe and secure way to report worries or concern’s directly to a school is the most important short-term measure that should be taken within a school. If not a face-to-face reporting route, a technological solution in which students can speak up, is vital in flushing out and raising awareness of incidents as and when they occur. Although students may not understand what extremism or radicalisation truly is, they certainly are at the forefront of these incidents whether they know it or not. By encouraging students to speak about what they see and hear in the community and at school, this may lead to a disclosure, which not only raises awareness but also can save lives.
Having a system in place in which teaching staff and non-teaching staff are able to report and record incidents, as and when they happen, is vital to ensure that any face-to-face disclosures from students can then be evidenced and monitored. Something as simple as a student sharing a personal video or talking about extremist activity in a class, if picked up and recorded by a member of staff, major incidents can be prevented from escalating immediately. Having a reporting system in place also ensures that you are meeting the requirements of Ofsted as part of the prevent agenda.
Sharing best practise within schools and amongst other schools within the community is key in the fight against extremism and radicalisation. Best practise currently being used in over 500 schools across the UK provide pupils with a technological reporting and evidencing platform and app, is through the introduction of tootoot.
www.tootoot.co.uk is a free resource and is the first safeguarding platform that provides your pupils with a safe voice to report incidents and worries directly to your school. Tootoot also allows your staff to record incidents off extremism, radicalisation and many other safeguarding incidents whilst providing SLT with a live dashboard of reports and disclosures as evidence for Ofsted.
To date over 98,000 pupils are protected by tootoot in schools across the UK. Find out more