Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015

Merlin Academy recognises its responsibilities under the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 to prevent people of all ages being radicalised or drawn into terrorism. Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism. Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The school promotes a multicultural environment where respect for, and tolerance of, other people’s beliefs is required at all times.

This policy is based on the following principles:
The rule of law
Individual liberty
Respectful tolerance of different faiths or beliefs

This policy, in conjunction with referenced documents, has the following aims:
To explain our commitment to Prevent;
To detail our Prevent policies and procedures;
To promote Core British Values at all times;
To provide a clear procedure to be implemented in the event of concerns;
To ensure that everyone is protected from potential radicalisation.

It may help you to develop a deeper understanding and more clarification of the different words and phrases used when you’re discussing or thinking about extremism and its related topics.

The four values that should be encouraged, promoted, upheld and exemplified by all are:
The rule of law
Individual liberty
Respectful tolerance of different faiths or beliefs

Extremism is the holding of an extreme political or religious view which may deny right to any group or individual. Extremism can refer to a range of views, e.g. racism, homophobia, right-wing ideology, as well as any religious extremism. Extremism can be expressed in vocal or active opposition to Core British Values, and may also include calls for the death of members of the armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

In the context of this policy, prevention means reducing or eliminating the arisk of individuals becoming involved in terrorism. Prevent involves the identification and referral of those susceptible to violent extremism into appropriate interventions. These interventions aim to divert the susceptible from embarking down the path to radicalisation.

Radicalisation is 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.

Vulnerability describes the condition of being capable of being injured, difficult to defend, open to moral or ideological attack. Within Prevent, the word describes factors and characteristics associated with being susceptible to radicalisation.

Our commitment to Prevent begins with our Prevent Lead, who is responsible for creating a risk assessment and action plan, which is reviewed and updated annually or following an incident or concern.
It is recognised that all members of staff, Assessors, and students have a responsibility to uphold the principles and aims of this policy.

At the Academy we provide training and guidance to all members of staff, homestay providers, group leaders, and students; the aim of our training and guidance is to provide knowledge and confidence to all.

A Code of Conduct that specifically references Prevent duties.
Online training provided by the Education and Training Foundation.
Face-to-face training by the Prevent Lead.

A Code of Conduct that specifically references Prevent duties.
Informal face-to-face training once a year.

A Code of Conduct that specifically references Prevent duties.
Online training provided by the Education and Training Foundation.
Tutoring and counselling appropriate to their perceived need.

It is important to understand that extremism is not isolated to any particular type of person: any student regardless of Race, Religion or social belief may be radicalised. Equally, extremist views may be held by students, members of staff, group leaders, or homestay providers.
A person may come into contact with the Academy who already holds extremist views, or they may be influenced by a range of factors while in the UK. Those influences include, but are not limited to:

Global events;
Peer pressure;
The media;
Views expressed by family or friends;
Extremist materials, accessed either online or in hardcopy;
Inspirational speakers;
Friends or relatives being harmed;
Social networks.

People who are vulnerable are more likely to be influenced. By their very nature, international students should always be considered vulnerable - they are away from their home environment and thereby isolated.

Vulnerability could also stem from a range of causes:
Loss of identity or sense of belonging;
Mental health problems;
Sense of injustice;
Personal crisis;
Victim of hate crime or discrimination;

Although risk can never be completely eliminated, there are many ways in which we can reduce the risk of people being radicalised, and help to protect and prevent people from extremism.
Promote a safe and supportive international environment via clear expectations of accepted behaviours and those, including radicalisation and extremism that will not be tolerated.
Uphold and exemplify Core British Values through information given to students, notices displayed around the school, examples set to students by staff and Assessors, and via classes and discussions that include education about British culture, traditions, and beliefs.
Where possible, develop critical awareness and thought to counter accepting extremism without question, especially of online material.
Challenge radical or extremist views in any context, formal or informal, following stated procedures and reporting duties.
Be ready to react when local, national, or international events cause upset; being aware of the likelihood of conflicting feelings being expressed, and alert to potential acts of recrimination.

Have strong filters on IT equipment and clear rules on accessing extremist websites, as well as the use of social networks to exchange extremist views.

Ensure that extremist speakers do not use the premises to distribute material or expound views.

Get to know our students and guests, their home circumstances and friendship groups. Through knowing students well, it is easier to spot changes in behaviour.

Be observant and vigilant in noticing any signs of radical or extremist behaviour.

Work hard to support any students identified as vulnerable and at risk

The following signs may suggest concerns and should be raised with the Prevent Lead immediately:
Talking about exposure to extremist materials or views outside school.
Changing attitude, e.g. intolerant of differences / having a closed mind.
Changing behaviour, e.g. becoming isolated.
Falling standard of work, poor attendance, disengagement.
Asking questions about topics connected to extremism.
Offering opinions that appear to have come from extremist ideologies.
Attempting to impose one’s own views / beliefs on others.
Using extremist vocabulary to exclude others or incite violence.
Accessing extremist material online or via social network sites.
Performing overt new religious practices.
Possessing drawings or posters showing extremist ideology / views / symbols.
Voicing concerns about anyone.

Any concerns relating to a person under the age of 18 are Safeguarding issues, and should be dealt with according to the Merlin Academy Safeguarding Policy & Procedures.

It is of paramount importance that any concern or incident, however small, be reported immediately. Any report will be dealt with sensitively and carefully, with confidentiality assured for the person reporting a concern. If you have a concern, please contact the Prevent Lead: Michelle Fox

Version 2 – 18/6/19

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