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Protecting Students From Extremist Views

Introduction and context

“The aftermath of events such as the London bombings in 2005 has highlighted the need to combat extremisms and develop young people’s resilience to potentially harmful ideologies to prevent them from being radicalised."

• Extremism is more than simply stubbornness in one’s view or general intolerance to others. It involves holding views which are considered by equals, peers and society as being at odds with the core beliefs of the whole;
• Radicalisation is the process by which people adopt an extreme position in terms of politics and religion, a violent extremist ideology, or move to violent action in support of their beliefs;
• Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and describes a process in which people can overcome or resist negative influences that block emotional well-being and/or achievement”1

The role of staff
St Benedict’s Catholic College will not tolerate the expression of extremist views by staff or governors,
either in college to students or staff, or via social media.

We will support students by remaining vigilant to the possibility of them being exposed to extremist literature or propaganda. This could happen whilst on educational visits. We will ensure that anyone who encounters such literature will be offered sensitive and balanced views to counteract any negative impact. Students are vulnerable to such influences and must be safeguarded from any grooming activities related to extremism. If staff become concerned, or a student reports being exposed to extremist literature or views, then the designated lead for safeguarding (John Deasy) should be informed.

If any visitors to the school express extremist views either verbally or in writing, the matter should be immediately reported to a member of the leadership team.

Our curriculum and wider college life
There are many and varied opportunities to promote resilience to extremism amongst our young people. British values are explored and promoted in lessons as well as through assemblies and PSHE. The following serve as an example: RE lessons enable students to discuss current issues and consider choices and decisions made by people. Reflection is encouraged daily through collective worship. Subjects such as history, geography and English develop the skills of critical thinking and intellectual enquiry. These skills are further utilized in public speaking competitions and debating club. Fundraising and other charitable activities give students an opportunity to understand diversity in the UK and to debate issues of social justice in a safe context.

1Research brief DFE – RB119 ISBN, May 2011 JSA –April 2015
Reviewed May 2018