Channel explained

Channel is a voluntary, confidential programme which safeguards people identified as vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It is a multi-agency process, involving partners from the local authority, the police, education, health providers and others.

Referring possible cases of early-stage radicalisation is similar to safeguarding processes designed to protect people from gang activity, drugs, and physical or sexual abuse. Many types of support are available as part of the Channel programme, addressing educational, vocational, mental health and other vulnerabilities.

The Channel programme is:

  • Voluntary
  • Confidential
  • A support programme – not a criminal sanction and it will not affect a person’s criminal record

A referral can come from anyone who is concerned about a person they know who may be at risk of radicalisation, whether a family member, friend, school leader, colleague or from a wide range of partners. Channel addresses all forms of terrorism, including Islamist, far-right and others.

When someone makes a referral, lots of agencies work together to offer support where they consider it necessary and proportionate to do so. This involves a number of steps:

1. The local authority and the police carefully assess all referrals to see if they are suitable for Channel or whether a different type of support is more appropriate, such as mental health support.

2. If suitable, the referral is discussed with all relevant partners at a meeting called a Channel panel to decide if an intervention is necessary. The individual who has been referred to Prevent is informed and must give their consent (or via a parent or guardian if they are children) before an intervention can take place.

3. If Channel intervention is required, the panel works with local partners to develop an appropriate tailored support package.

4. The support package is monitored closely and reviewed regularly by the Channel panel.

The type of support available is wide-ranging, and can include help with education or career advice, dealing with mental or emotional health issues, drug or alcohol abuse, and theological or ideological mentoring from a Channel intervention provider (a specialist mentor).

Useful links:

Resources

Channel is a voluntary, confidential programme which safeguards people identified as vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It is a multi-agency process, involving partners from the local authority, the police, education, health providers and others. This Government e-Learning training package is suitable for staff who may be asked to contribute to, site on or run a Channel Panel. It covers the objectives of the Channel programme, the working process and the roles and responsibilities for the panel. The e-learning uses cases studies to demonstrate the process in action. There are options for both sound and subtitles, and users can also save their progress to complete at a later date.

An informative website providing help and advice to the public to understand Prevent, Channel and the signs of radicalisation. Let’s Talk About It is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Parents may find the online safety section particularly helpful. Schools may find the website helpful to clearly explain the Prevent programme to parents and staff, and to source information posters and leaflets.

A pocket-size booklet for teachers with information about extremism and radicalisation, produced by Educate Against Hate. It includes information on the warning signs of radicalisation, the Channel process and safeguarding processes as well as contact information. This leaflet can be printed out or emailed to staff. Free printed versions are also available to order using the website’s ‘Contact Us’ form.

A step-by-step guide on how to implement the Prevent duty in your school, from the London Borough of Ealing. This toolkit includes ideas, resources and best practice approaches to support primary and secondary school practitioners to understand the principles of the Prevent strategy and implement the Prevent duty as part of a whole school approach. Curriculum mapping and risk assessment templates are also available.