Tackling Extremism

Dean Trust Wigan is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students. Every member of staff recognises that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society.

The Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Policy sets out our beliefs, strategies and procedures to protect vulnerable individuals from being radicalised or exposed to extremist views, by identifying who they are and promptly providing them with support.

The Dean Trust Wigan Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Policy is intended to provide a framework for dealing with issues relating to vulnerability, radicalisation and exposure to extreme views. We recognise that we are well placed to be able to identify safeguarding issues and this policy clearly sets out how the academy will deal with such incidents and identifies how the curriculum and ethos underpins our actions.

The objectives are that:
• All governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism are is and why we need to be vigilant in the school.

• All governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on tackling extremism and radicalisation and will follow the policy guidance swiftly when issues arise.

• All students will understand the dangers of radicalisation and exposure to extremist views; building resilience against these and knowing what to do if they experience them.

• All parent/carers and students will know that the school has policies in place to keep students safe from harm and that the school regularly reviews its systems to ensure they are appropriate and effective.

The main aims of this policy are to ensure that staff are fully engaged in being vigilant about radicalisation; that they overcome professional disbelief that such issues will not happen here and ensure that we work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our students are safe from harm.

Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.

Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
There are a number of behaviours which may indicate a child is at risk of being radicalised or exposed to extreme views.

These include;

  • Spending increasing time in the company of other suspected extremists.
  • Changing their style of dress or personal appearance to accord with the group.
  • Day-to-day behaviour becoming increasingly centred on an extremist ideology, group or cause.
  • Loss of interest in other friends and activities not associated with the extremist ideology, group or cause.
  • Possession of materials or symbols associated with an extremist cause.
  • Attempts to recruit others to the group/cause.
  • Communications with others that suggests identification with a group, cause or ideology.
  • Using insulting or derogatory names for another group.
  • Increase in prejudice-related incidents committed by that person – these may include;
  • Physical or verbal assault.
  • Provocative behaviour.
  • Damage to property.
  • Derogatory name calling.
  • Possession of prejudice-related materials.
  • Prejudice related ridicule or name calling.
  • Inappropriate forms of address.
  • Refusal to co-operate.
  • Attempts to recruit to prejudice-related organisations.
  • Condoning or supporting violence towards others.

Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at Dean Trust Wigan to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues. Staff are reminded to suspend any ‘professional disbelief’ that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to be ‘professionally inquisitive’ where concerns arise, referring any concerns through the appropriate channels.

We believe that it is possible to intervene to protect people who are vulnerable. Early intervention is vital and staff must be aware of the established processes for front line professionals to refer concerns about individuals and/or groups. We must have the confidence to challenge, the confidence to intervene and ensure that we have strong safeguarding practices based on the most up-to-date guidance and best practise.

The Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Teacher will discuss the most appropriate course of action on a case-by-case basis and will decide when a referral to external agencies is needed.
As with any child protection referral, staff must be made aware that if they do not agree with a decision not to refer, they can make the referral themselves and will be given the contact details to do this.

The Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Teacher are the leaders for referrals relating to extremism and radicalisation. In the unlikely event that neither are not available, all staff know the channels by which to make referrals.

Staff will be fully briefed about what to do if they are concerned about the possibility of radicalisation relating to a student, or if they need to discuss specific student s whom they consider to be vulnerable to radicalisation or extremist views.

Our curriculum is “broad and balanced”. It promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Students are encouraged to share their views and recognise that they are entitled to have their own different beliefs which should not be used to influence others.

Our RBA provision is embedded across the curriculum. It directs our assemblies and underpins the ethos of the academy. It is recognised that students with low aspirations are more vulnerable to radicalisation and therefore we strive to equip our students with confidence, self-belief, respect and tolerance as well as setting high standards and expectations for themselves.

Students are regularly taught about how to stay safe when using the internet and are encouraged to recognise that people are not always who they say they are online. They are taught to seek adult help if they are upset or concerned about anything they read or see on the internet.

Through INSET opportunities in the school, we will ensure that our staff are fully aware of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that are linked to radicalisation; are aware of the process of radicalisation and how this might be identified early on and are aware of how we can provide support as a school to ensure that our students are resilient and able to resist involvement in radical or extreme activities.

Upon arriving at the school all visitors including contractors, will read the child protection and safeguarding guidance and be made aware of who the Designated Persons are and how to report any concerns which they may experience.