The Prevent Strategy aims to stop people being drawn into terrorism; everyone who works with children and young people has a duty towards this strategy.
While it remains rare for children and young people to become involved in terrorist activity, young people can be exposed to terrorist and extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age, including through the internet and technology.
There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology, but some examples may include:
- Sudden increase in vulnerability due to social, emotional, cultural or economic factors.
- Argumentative and unwilling to listen to other people’s points of view
- Susceptible to conspiracy theories and feelings of persecution.
- Withdrawal from social activities and peer group
- Changes in friendship groups and appearance
- New-found sense of cultural identity or conversion to a new religion
- Searching for, sharing or uploading extremist material online.
Designated Safeguarding Leads should be aware of local procedures for making a Channel referral; this is a program which focuses on providing support and education to those who are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. As a Channel partner, the designated safeguarding lead (on behalf of the school or college) may be asked to attend a Channel panel to discuss the individual and consider the appropriate level of support required.
If you are a Designated Safeguarding Lead in a Kent school or setting, you can access further guidance and the Kent prevent referral form here.