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ECMAT PREVENT - Position Statement

Education Central Multi Academy Trust (ECMAT) ensures the safety of children is paramount.

We do this by:

 To achieve this objective, we:

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act places a duty on specified authorities, including local authorities and childcare, education and other children’s services providers, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“the Prevent duty”).

ECMAT academies should be aware of the signs and symptoms of a young person being at risk of becoming radicalised as per the Trust Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy

The examples above are not exhaustive and vulnerability may manifest itself in other ways.

Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism. There have been several occasions both locally and nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.

The Trust values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both pupils/students and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion. 

The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom may include the exploitation of vulnerable people, to involve them in terrorism or in activity in support of terrorism. The normalisation of extreme views may also make children and young people vulnerable to future manipulation and exploitation. Our academies are clear that this exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.

The Trust seeks to protect children and young people against the messages of all violent extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Islamist ideology, or to Far Right / Neo Nazi / White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups, and extremist Animal Rights movements.

Trust Governors, Headteachers and the Safeguarding Leads will assess the level of risk within academies and put actions in place to reduce that risk.

Our staff group understands when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme and that when any member of staff has concerns that a pupil may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak Designated Safeguarding Lead or Trust DSL. 

Relevant issues will be addressed through the PSHE curriculum and through other areas of the curriculum, for example, in Primary academies through circle time, English, History, Drama, Art.

What does this mean in practice?

Many of the things we already do across the academies to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Trust Prevent agenda.

These include:

We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they cannot access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.  Different academies will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community. 

The Trust regularly reviews action plans along to ensure that the safeguarding of children is secure whilst undertaking its responsibilities in line with the ‘Prevent duty’.