The aim of ‘Prevent’ is to stop people becoming or supporting terrorism and to do this by challenging ideologies, protecting vulnerable individuals and supporting institutions, such as schools. It is part of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST.
Just as young people can be groomed for Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), they can also be groomed for purposes of extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. Perpetrators will look for vulnerabilities in young people; they look for a way in. They will use persuasive methods to indoctrinate young people. Other factors that make young people vulnerable are:
- Family upheaval (no positive family role models).
- Involvement in drugs or crime.
- Low self-esteem.
- Lack of knowledge.
- Social exclusion.
- Lack of boundaries.
- Mental health.
They will initially act as a friend, a role model for the young person. In time they will start to inflict their views, thoughts and opinions onto them, isolate them from family and friends. You may notice:
- Truancy from school.
- Change in behaviour.
- Challenging views and opinions.
- Change in style of dress.
- Talking of being religious.
- "Us" and "them" references.
- Justification of violence and hate crimes.
- Hero worshipping and fixations.
If you are concerned about any changes in your child's behaviour that leads you to believe they are being groomed for extremism radicalisation, and terrorism please contact the safeguarding office and speak to a member of the school's Safeguarding Team on (01709) 760222.