Providing a safe space

Schools should be a safe space where students can discuss social and political issues, including extremism and terrorism. Building young people’s resilience will put them in a stronger position to reject extremist views.

You can build students’ resilience to extremist narratives by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.

Teachers can ensure that their classroom provides a safe space for conversations about extremism and radicalisation in an age-appropriate way, as well as other social and political issues.

Another way that you can build resilience in your students is by promoting fundamental British values of:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The Department for Education has published advice on promoting fundamental British values as part of promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of your students. You can find it here.

There are many resources available on this website, including lesson plans and multi-media resources, that can help you address issues relating to extremism and radicalisation sensitively and in an engaging and age-appropriate manner.

This includes material on the strengths, advantages and challenges of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain compared to the types of government in other countries.

You could also show democracy in action by introducing a school council whose members are voted for by the students, and hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide students with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view.

Also, make time to discuss issues around identity, difference and tolerance. Subject associations will be well placed to advise on engaging ways to promote British values and teach tolerance.

Resources

A briefing, lesson plan and dilemma-based activities to teach the principles of the rules of war.

Magistrates visit schools, colleges and community groups to discuss how our justice system works, including how verdicts and sentences are decided. Teams of magistrates give a presentation and discuss a range of topics, including how magistrates are appointed, what kind of cases they deal with, how guilt or innocence is decided and sentencing when guilt is established. The presentations are tailored to suit different audiences and requirements. These visits can support schools in promoting fundamental British values by giving students the opportunity to learn about and engage with the rule of law.

A link to quickly and anonymously report online material promoting terrorism or extremism. Anyone can report material such as: articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence; content encouraging people to commit acts of terrorism; websites made by terrorist or extremist organisations; and videos of terrorist attacks. All referrals made through this tool go directly to the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit in the Metropolitan police for assessment and investigation. School staff may become aware of inappropriate content through students or through online monitoring software.

An online interactive fictional trial, where the viewer learns about court process and compares their own verdict with that of the jury.