How to Protect Children from Online Extremism

The new Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 obliges schools (and other authorities) to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism including online

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  3. How to protect children from online extremism

Assess the Risk

Assess the risk of a child being drawn into terrorism and their support for extremist ideas. You can do this by using robust safeguarding policies to identify children at risk, devise a relevant intervention plan and select the most appropriate referral option.

Work in Partnership

Work in partnership with your local safeguarding children board to ensure you’re following the correct policies and procedures.

Staff Training

Train your staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas. Having staff who can both recognise the signs of extremism and counter the online extremism rhetoric and narrative are both equally critical - staff training is vital in this regard.

Appropriate Filtering

Implement strict IT policies that allow for an appropriate level of filtering. These IT policies should be implemented as a precautionary measure, not as a response to an incident.

Be Prepared

Be prepared for Ofsted inspectors wanting to see your school’s approach to keeping children safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism. Otherwise, you may be subject to regulatory action.

Educate Students

Educate your students on critical evaluation. They should be aware of content that may be trying to influence them to follow extremist views. There are many sources providing help and guidance on how to do this, including the Digital Literacy website.

Take Responsibility

Take responsibility for reporting concerns. It is now the law for any individual to follow the appropriate safeguarding reporting procedure.