Extremism is 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; 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 – students, staff or governors - or external sources - school community, external agencies or individuals.
Our students 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 students 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 students. 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. Education is a powerful weapon against this; equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking, to challenge and debate in an informed way.
Our position statement on Promoting British Values and preparing students for life in Modern Britain can be found here.
Students learn about this through a broad and balanced tutorial programme, so that they are enriched, understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and not marginalised. They also learn how to keep themselves safe and where to go to get help if they need it (in school and in the community). Staff and students raise any concerns they may have with Mrs Collins, Ms Nicholson or Mr O'Sullivan who in turn will seek advice from outside agencies should the need arise.
In 2017 we ran an amazing workshop in conjunction with Votes For Schools in order to discuss extremism, radicalisation and Prevent. It was featured in the Evening Standard and was well received by the students. This event featured a live debate with notable guest speakers in this area Mohammad Khaliel, Fuyuz Mughal, Usama Hasan, Hanif Qadir, Mohammed Shafiq and Nick Daines. Students' discussions on extremism and radicalisation helped them to understand why it exists, why many people seek belonging in sometimes the wrong way, this in turns builds tolerance and understanding. One Y9 student summed up the issue...“we are all vulnerable to extremism, and I mean any extreme behaviour like drugs or gangs, not just religious or political extremism”. Insight such as this encourages the students to challenge extremist views and identify with each other.
Parents can find help and advice by following this link:
This website gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.