Schools lead way in anti radicalisation

Berrymede Junior and Greenford High were the first primary and secondary schools to receive the Quality Assurance Mark for their work to promote good citizenship and keep children and young people safe from being drawn into all forms of extremism.

The awards were presented by Julian Butcher, head of Prevent in schools at the Department for Education in September.

The ARISE Network, represented by local schools, promotes the adoption of best practice in helping teachers to explain and implement the Prevent duty as part of a whole school approach.

These practices provide recognition for schools that satisfy the criteria, developed in alignment with the Department for Education. 

To qualify for the mark, schools must show how they are helping children develop critical thinking skills which will help them to identify and challenge extremist arguments. Teachers using the Ealing Prevent Toolkit encourage class discussions on a range of subjects.  

This work is an extension of all schools’ existing duty to help keep children safe from harm and to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of their pupils, underpinned by British values. 

Berrymede Junior head teacher, Lubna Khan, said: “We’re thrilled to be awarded the ARISE quality mark, the process has really helped us to understand and develop essential practices across the school in terms of ensuring safety of our school community. The support from Ealing Council and the network has been very timely and of a very high calibre, tackling some very sensitive materials in a very professional manner.”

Greenford High School head teacher, Mathew Cramer, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the ARISE quality mark. The process has raised awareness and improved practice. In the end, it’s all about safeguarding the welfare of the students.”

Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for children and young people said: “The network is vital in making schools aware of the influence radicalisation can have. Schools now have a legal duty to prevent young people from being drawn to terrorism and it’s reassuring to see Ealing schools welcome the training.”  

Watch a video from members of the ARISE Network speaking about the development and impact of the Ealing Prevent Toolkit.

Schools that would like to become part of the ARISE Network can find out more through www.egfl.org.uk/prevent.