Prevention of Terrorism and Radicalisation is now part of Safeguarding in Schools. The Government has dictated.We are told my school is in a Top Priority Red Zone. Being a responsible long serving School Governing Body, we accept this. Any right minded Governor will be deeply concerned at seeing the rise in both active and passive extreme right wing Extremism, active and passive extreme Jihadism and Terrorism. We accept we must all do our part.Theresa May appears to want to weaponised schools. She wants teachers to be her front line, anti-terror storm troopers. This raises profound worries. Of the many, I share a few.
Resources. Who is to pay for this additional burden? My school is struggling to make ends meet already.
Training. How are our teachers to convert from being good teachers to becoming radicalisation experts? In fairness, our local LA has issued guidance, however it is woefully simplistic, nothing more than could be picked up from reading the news.
Who is going to safeguard our Teachers? Intolerance, violent and unreasonable action are the hallmarks of Extremism. Now say a teacher does identify a child uttering White Supremacist or Jihadist rhetoric. They then reports this? Who will protect my teacher from a knee-jerk intolerant, unreasonable, violent physical or verbal backlash?
Abuse of the Prevent Responsibilities. I can report that this new responsibility has empowered one Head to line up three Asian young ladies and ask them why they ‘stick together’, are they planning on defection to IS, etc. The parents of the child reporting are reliable, I can vouch for them, and very naturally they do not wish to be identified.Lastly, what comes next? Having followed the progress of Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, some aspects and challenges to human rights alarm most of us. However, far more alarming was the general acceptance in open Parliament that there may well have to be further legislation should extremism continue. Even Keith Vaz, Chair of Home Office Select Committee and not normally given to over-reaction, regretfully accepted this.