General

  1. FIT Education is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment in which individuals can reach their potential.

  1. This policy is designed to provide a clear framework to structure and inform our response to safeguarding concerns for those individuals who may be vulnerable to the messages of extremism.

  1. FIT Education’s approach to the prevention of extremism and radicalisation (PREVENT) will focus on:

  • Safeguarding all learners, staff and associates from exposure to circumstances that exacerbate the risk of radicalisation.
  • The education of all learners and staff regarding the risk and nature of radicalisation.
  • The provision of information and resources that support awareness.
  • Liaison and communication with relevant local and nation agencies that support the PREVENT agenda.
  • Promotion of the support mechanisms available should a learner of staff member have concerns relevant to terrorist and extremist activity.

Scope

  1. This policy refers to any activity or risk activity that would be categorised as promoting radicalisation or extremism.

Radicalisation

  1. This is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

Extremism

  1. This is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas (HM Government PREVENT Strategy, 2011).

  1. Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the Act) places a duty on certain bodies (“specified authorities” listed in Schedule 6 to the Act), in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This guidance is issued under section 29 of the Act. The Act states that the authorities subject to the provisions must have regard to this guidance when carrying out the duty. The 2015 Act placed a statutory responsibility of education providers as detail above.

  1. PREVENT is 1 of the 4 elements of ‘CONTEST’, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. The 4 elements are; Pursue, Protect, Prepare and Prevent. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Rationale

  1. The current threat from terrorism and extremism in the United Kingdom is real and severe and can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, such as those stated in our Safeguarding Children & Venerable Adult’s Policy.

  1. The Governments 2011 PREVENT strategy has three specific strategic objectives:

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.

National Guidance and Strategies

  1. PREVENT is a key part of the Government’s strategy to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Early intervention is at the heart of PREVENT in diverting people away from being drawn into terrorist activity. PREVENT happens before any criminal activity takes place. It is about recognising, supporting and protecting people who might be susceptible to radicalisation.

  1. The PREVENT strategy objectives are:

Ideology:

Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it.

Individuals:

Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support

Institutions:

Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.

The updated March 2015 guidance states:

  1. There is an important role for training providers, in helping prevent people being drawn into terrorism, which includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit. It is a condition of funding that all further education and independent training providers must comply with relevant legislation and any statutory responsibilities associated with the delivery of education and safeguarding of learners.

  1. It is important to realise that the risk of radicalisation in institutions does not just come from external speakers. Radicalised learners can also act as a focal point for further radicalisation through personal contact with fellow learners and through their social media activity. Where radicalisation happens off campus, the learner concerned may well share his or her issues with other learners. Changes in behaviour and outlook may be visible to staff.

Government Guidance

  1. The following link is the current government guidelines for further guidance within the education sector. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance.

Purpose and Objectives

  1. FIT Education aims to guide our learners to understand others, to promote common values and to value diversity, to promote awareness of human rights and of the responsibility to uphold and defend them, and to develop the skills of participation and responsible action.

  1. We aim to encourage working towards a society in with a common vision and sense of belonging by all who incorporate British values regardless of religion or ethnicity.

Organisation and Responsibility

  1. The maintenance of this policy is the responsibility of the Director of FIT Education.

  1. Any member learner, staff or sub-contracted partner to whom a disclosure regarding PREVENT related concern is made, must inform the Director in accordance with the Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy to ensure that appropriate action is taken.

FIT Education has a responsibility to:

  • Establish or use existing mechanisms for understanding the risk of radicalisation.
  • Ensure staff understand the risk and build the capabilities to deal with it.
  • Communicate and promote the importance of the duty.
  • Ensure staff implement the duty effectively.

Quality and Monitoring

  1. All records associated with PREVENT shall be managed in accordance with our Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy and stored within our Data Protection & Information Policy.

  1. Training for staff will be organised during the induction process and maintained annually in accordance with staff specific Continued Professional Development & Appraisal Policy

Staff Roles and Responsibilities

  1. All staff should have an awareness of the PREVENT agenda and the various forms of radicalisation takes in being able to recognise signs and indicators or concern and respond appropriately.

Vulnerability/Risk Indicators

  1. The following lists are not exhaustive and all or none may be present in individual cases of concern. Nor does it mean that vulnerable young people experiencing these factors are automatically at risk of exploitation for the purposes of extremism. The accepted view is that a complex relationship between the various aspects of an individual’s identity determines their vulnerability to extremism.

  1. There is no such thing as a ‘typical extremist’ and those involved in extremism come from a range of backgrounds and experiences. The following indicators may help to identify factors that suggest an individual or their family may be vulnerable or involved with extremism:

Identity crisis:

Distance from cultural/religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around them.

Personal crisis:

Family tensions; sense of isolation; adolescence; low self-esteem; disassociating from existing friendship group and becoming involved with a new and different group of friends; searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging.

Personal circumstances:

Migration, local community tensions, events affecting country or region of origin, alienation from British values, having a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of government policy.

Unmet aspirations:

Perceptions of injustice, feeling of failure, rejection of civic life.

Criminality:

Experiences of imprisonment, poor resettlement/reintegration, previous involvement with criminal groups.

Access to extremist influences

  • Reason to believe that the young person associates with those known to be involved in extremism
  • Possession or distribution of extremist literature/other media material likely to incite racial/religious hatred or acts of violence
  • Use of closed network groups via electronic media for the purpose of extremist activity

Experiences, behaviours and influences

  • Experience of peer, social, family or faith group rejection
  • International events in areas of conflict and civil unrest had a personal impact on the young person resulting in a noticeable change in behaviour
  • Verbal or written support of terrorist attacks
  • First-hand experience of racial or religious hate crime
  • Extended periods of travel to international locations known to be associated with extremism
  • Evidence of fraudulent identity/use of documents to support this
  • Experience of disadvantage, discrimination or social exclusion
  • History of criminal activity
  • Pending a decision on their immigration/national status

More critical risk factors include:

  • Being in contact with extremist recruiters
  • Articulating support for extremist causes or leaders
  • Accessing extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element
  • Possessing extremist literature
  • Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues
  • Joining extremist organisations
  • Significant changes to appearance/behaviour

Referral and Intervention Process

  1. Any identified concerns as the result of observed behaviour or reports of conversations to suggest that an individual supports terrorism and/or extremism must be reported to the Director immediately and no later than the end of the working day as in accordance with our Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adult’s Policy.

  1. Where an individual is thought to be in need/or at risk of significant harm, and/or where investigations need to be carried out, a referral to the relevant authority shall be made with immediate effect by the Director as in accordance with the Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adult’s Policy.

Channel referral process

  1. Some concerns which are identified may have a security dimension to them. For this reason, it is important that liaison with the police forms an early part of all investigations. Local Police will carry out an initial assessment and, if appropriate, set up a multi-agency meeting to agree actions for supporting the individual.

  1. If it is deemed that there are no concerns around radicalisation, appropriate and targeted support will be considered for the individual.

Working in partnership

  1. PREVENT work depends on effective partnership. To demonstrate effective compliance with the March 2015 duty, FIT Education will demonstrate evidence of productive cooperation, in particular with local Prevent co-ordinators, the police and local authorities, and co-ordination through existing multi-agency forums, for example the PREVENT Steering Boards and Community Safety Partnerships.

Freedom of Speech

  1. FIT Education will not suppress freedom to express controversial or unpopular views, provided that the expression of those views does not go beyond the articulation of points of view and does not constitute incitement to riot, insurrection, racial hatred, religious hatred, sexual harassment or other activities which are likely to cause a breach of the peace or public disorder or otherwise to be unlawful.

  1. Whilst upholding the principles of freedom to express potentially controversial or unpopular views, FIT Education will not permit its premises or resources to be used to promote or support extremism.

  1. In considering whether to allow the expression of potentially controversial or unpopular views, FIT Education shall also take account of its wider legal duties, in particular to have due regard for the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that

Is prohibited by law;

  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

  1. FIT Education has the right and the power to regulate and, if necessary, to impose conditions or restrictions upon events and activities taking place on its premises or satellite centres.

Confidentiality

  1. All learners’ records are confidential and access to them is restricted as in accordance with our Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adult’s Policy and our Data Protection & Information Policy.