Safer Children - Radicalisation | Rainhill High School

Safer Children - Radicalisation

Regardless of age, children can be the most vulnerable in our society, and as a parent it is only natural to worry about their safety.

We have put together this collection of resources and tips to help you keep your children safe and raise their awareness of the potential dangers online and in the world in general. Use the the links to the right of this text to navigate through the various sections of this part of the website.

Radicalisation and Extemism

Safeguarding children and young people from radicalisation is no different from safeguarding them from other forms of harm” - The Prevent Strategy 2011

Children may be at risk from exposure to materials or influences that support or endorse terrorism and extremism.

Local authorities and other public bodies, including schools, the police, health services, have a legal duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and to provide support via the Channel programme to people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.

The risks posed to young people by extremism are now included within the criteria for determining whether children and young people are in need of early help, specialist support or protection.

Key Terms

Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of lay, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The Prevent team also include, in their definition of extremism, calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

A set of beliefs

A violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause

The process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism

What is PREVENT?

Prevent is one of four strands of the government's counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest. It was created by the Labour government in 2003 and its remit was widened by the coalition government in 2011.

The other strands are: Prepare; Protect; and Pursue.

Prevent is designed to support people at risk of joining extremist groups and carrying out terrorist activities. In practice it aims for police and other organisations to build relations across the UK and requires faith leaders, teachers, doctors and others to refer any suspicions about people to a local Prevent body. An assessment is then made about whether further action is needed.

Social services departments have become increasingly involved in identifying Prevent cases because of their duty to counter radicalisation. About 7,500 referrals were made to the scheme in 2015-16 - the equivalent of 20 a day - according to a Freedom of Information Request to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).

Radicalisation - Spotting signs and getting help

Radicalisation can be really difficult to spot. Signs that may indicate a child is being radicalised include:

  • isolating themselves from family and friends
  • talking as if from a scripted speech
  • unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
  • a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
  • increased levels of anger
  • increased secretiveness, especially around internet use.
  • Children who are at risk of radicalisation may have low self-esteem, or be victims of bullying or discrimination. Extremists might target them and tell them they can be part of something special, later brainwashing them into cutting themselves off from their friends and family.

However, these signs don't necessarily mean a child is being radicalised – it may be normal teenage behaviour or a sign that something else is wrong. If you notice any change in a child's behaviour and you're worried, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000

Signs and Symptoms

AngryUsing extremist narratives / languageLoss of interest in usual friends and activities
WithdrawnFixation on a concerning topicPossessing or accessing extremist materials
More confidence/arroganceAsking inappropriate questionsConcerning internet searches
DepressedChange in use of wordsChange of routine
Upset and/or short temperedSpeech that sounds scriptedDrawing inappropriate/unknown symbols
Using insulting to derogatory names for another groupAttempts to recruit others to the group/cause