All schools and registered childcare providers are required to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
Your responsibility as a head teacher is to make sure you put in place robust procedures to protect your pupils from radicalisation and extremism. You are responsible for the review and evaluation of those procedures and for making sure they are effective.
This should be seen as part of your school’s wider safeguarding duties and is entirely consistent with your existing responsibilities in this area. These procedures may be set out in existing safeguarding policies, and you do not necessarily need to have distinct policies on implementing the Prevent duty. Every school is different and a ‘one size fits all’ approach to dealing with the threat of extremism won’t work. However, you must make sure that you have considered what is appropriate in your school based on your risk assessment and taking into account the circumstances of your school and its local community.
You should treat protecting the children in your care against extremism and radicalisation in the same way as you treat protecting them from other harms (eg drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences. The Prevent duty is not about spying on pupils or carrying out unnecessary intrusion into family life. It is about ensuring that your staff know how to identify behaviour of concern and how to refer pupils who may be at risk of radicalisation for appropriate support.
In addition to your safeguarding responsibilities, your school should also help pupils build resilience against extremism and radicalisation by fostering a strong ethos and values-based education, as well as by providing a safe space for them to debate controversial issues and develop the critical thinking skills and knowledge they need to be able to challenge extremist arguments.