What’s new

Evaluation article: Know your strengths Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016 Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016 Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser? Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools? Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence Evaluation article: Getting personal  with CPD Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process Evaluation article: Parent View — an update Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Evaluation article: Know your strengths

Can you make inspection an enriching learning process that is actually good for your school? Heather Clements of Best Practice Network offers some advice. 

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectation

In this article, Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectation in their schools. 

Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence

Tony Powell outlines a step-by-step approach to support schools in achieving the accolade of ‘outstanding’ as defined by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: HR and the successful school: A case study

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College, gives a personal viewpoint of the benefits of bringing in the experts.

Evaluation article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress

Steve Burnage discusses engaging with good practice in the leadership of teaching and learning.

Evaluation article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

Tony Powell reports on the findings of the final Rochford Review.

Evaluation article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement

A high-performing leadership team is at the centre of any school improvement mission. But how do you go about creating an excellent SLT? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network asks…

Evaluation article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement

Adrian Kneeshaw of Carlton Bolling school gives advice on how to focus school spending on improvement planning.

Evaluation article: Transforming a failing school

Matt Bromley offers some advice on turning around an underperforming school in a short space of time while laying down the foundations for sustainable improvement.

Evaluation article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision

Tony Powell explains how inspectors gather evidence and make judgements on the quality of alternative and specially resourced provision.

Evaluation article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing

With concerns about mental health rising, what can schools do to help their pupils? Suzanne O’Connell outlines the advice available from the National Children’s Bureau and how it might be…

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - January 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Managing uncertainty

If you are struggling with a sense of uncertainty, be reassured: you are not alone. 2016 has been a year of upheaval, with the promise of big changes on the…

Evaluation article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique

Tony Powell provides guidance on how to use discussion with pupils as a tool for self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: The latest developments in education - September 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Evaluation article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection

Tony Powell looks at how to use the feedback from your inspection in school improvement planning.

Evaluation article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty

How can an expanding multi-academy trust ensure that school improvement doesn’t become a casualty of change? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network looks at the issue and offers some guidance.

Evaluation article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders

Adrian Kneeshaw looks at how leadership is important to the success of the school, and how to lead effectively.

Evaluation article: The governing body as a critical friend

In his second article on the headteacher and governor relationship, Tony Powell defines what is meant by a ‘critical friend’.

Evaluation article: Developing an ethos of high expectations

Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectations in their schools.

Evaluation article: The exam post-mortem

Matt Bromley considers how schools can learn from exam performance data and build this into school improvement.

Evaluation article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility

With new safeguarding guidance released, it’s time to check your arrangements and update your staff.

Evaluation article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model

This article outlines the Ofsted methodology for determining whether a school is ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Evaluation article: Effective leadership builds effective teams

Steve Burnage offers advice on motivating staff, getting the best from them and building effective teams.

Evaluation article: Baseline assessment and SEND

Suzanne O’Connell looks at a report on baseline assessment in primary schools and it’s affect on identifying children with SEND.

Evaluation article: Making performance management count in school improvement

What do you need to do to make performance management a watertight process that makes a real contribution to school improvement? Keith Wright has some suggestions.

Evaluation article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust

Tony Stephens, of the Co-operative Academies Trust, looks at what is the best type of multi-academy trust for a school to join or establish.

Evaluation article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling, gives a personal take on renewing a failing governing body having designed and built one from scratch.

Evaluation article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation

David Birch explains how capturing the views of students can sharpen school self-evaluation and have a positive impact on your school improvement strategies.

Evaluation article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser?

Frank Norris offers advice on how to choose the most appropriate school improvement partner to work with your school.

Evaluation article: Headteachers’ appraisal

David Birch outlines best practice in the management of the headteacher appraisal process and offers advice for headteachers on how to make the most of appraisal in their own professional development.

Evaluation article: Making CPD work harder

Professional development is a crucial factor in school improvement and improving pupil outcomes, but it could work harder, says Keith Wright.

Evaluation article: Using the Framework for governance

Tony Powell looks at how the Framework for governance can be used to clarify the strategic direction of your school.

Evaluation article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard

There is a new inspection dashboard to go with Ofsted's new Common inspection framework. Tony Powell explains how it can be used.

Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance

Suzanne O'Connell considers the guidance available regarding Prevent and school leaders' responsibilities.

Evaluation article: Improving provision for the most able

Ofsted reports are making it clear. The DfE wants to see secondary schools challenging their most able students. In this article, Suzanne O’Connell summarises the criticisms and recommendations from ‘The…

Evaluation article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Tony Powell looks at the new key area ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ under the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Evaluation article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools?

The mental health of children and young people is at the top of the agenda at the moment. Increased anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders are bringing some schools to crisis…

Evaluation article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment

Tony Powell interprets government guidance on assessment to help schools support self-evaluation.

Evaluation article: Raising boys’ achievement

John Viner looks at research into boys’ underachievement and reviews some successful strategies.

Evaluation article: National standards of excellence for headteachers

Tony Powell looks at the revised national standards for headteachers and how they should be used by schools.

Evaluation article: Governors and the inspection interview

Tony Powell discusses how to prepare governors in advance for an inspection interview.

Evaluation article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation

John Viner explores ways to develop a culture of continual improvement in teaching through lesson observation.

Evaluation article: CPD: Less measurement and more development

How can schools translate CPD into genuine improvement for staff? Keith Wright asked leaders to share their views, and discovered an emerging consensus about which approaches work best.

Evaluation article: Challenging 
the most able

Tony Powell looks at how to identify the most able pupils, and the key factors that enable the brightest pupils to achieve.

Evaluation article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability

Tony Powell looks at how the teachers’ standards can be used to evaluate performance and support improvement.

Evaluation article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom

Since January 2014 there has been increased emphasis on the behaviour of pupils. In this article, Jim Donnelly offers advice on managing behaviour around the school.

Evaluation article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons

David Birch offers advice on effective classroom management and argues that effective practice relies on a combination of the consistent application of agreed policy and the development of awareness and…

Evaluation article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance

This is statutory guidance, which means that schools and colleges (including academies and free schools) must have regard to it. It contains what schools should do and what they must…

Evaluation article: Four steps to school improvement

School improvement is a complex recipe that takes time to perfect. Keith Wright looks at some of the key barriers to school improvement and suggests strategies and systems to overcome…

Evaluation article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership

Louise Wingrove gives practical advice on how to become a leader your team will want to follow.

Evaluation article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision

Given that whole-school literacy is central to raising standards of achievement in schools and that it is a key focus for Ofsted, David Birch outlines some of the actions schools…

Evaluation article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence

Teachers are good at gathering evidence of pupil progress, but many find it difficult to do the same with regard to their own professional development.  Keith Wright looks at the…

Evaluation article: Getting personal with CPD

Less than a fifth of teachers in England’s schools think their continuing profession development (CPD) is any good, according to a recent survey. One of the keys to unlocking the…

Evaluation article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process

Performance appraisal is crucial to school improvement, but many schools are still without a rigorous and transparent way of carrying it out, says Keith Wright. Here, he analyses the challenges…

Evaluation article: Parent View — an update

Jenny Townsend looks at the importance of Parent View in achieving an outstanding rating in inspection, and how comments from parents are used by Ofsted.

Evaluation article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach

Jenny Townsend explores how parental engagement can contribute to school improvement and in particular the role this can play in raising pupil achievement levels.

Evaluation article: Effective parental engagement

Ofsted’s Parent View means that parents have a direct influence on the decision to inspect. Jenny Townsend examines why this matters to schools.

Evaluation article: The government's Prevent guidance

Published: Wednesday, 07 October 2015

Suzanne O'Connell considers the guidance available regarding Prevent and school leaders' responsibilities.

Summary

  • Schools must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
  • The Channel programme is a multi-agency approach to identifying and supporting individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
  • School staff must be made aware of their responsibilities through training.
  • Schools should also ensure that there are opportunities for students to discuss issues and for extremist views to be challenged.

The duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism is a controversial addition to schools' already overloaded brief. Schools are once more on the front line in dealing with a major national concern. Fear of extremism leading to terrorism and the process of radicalisation of children and young people has taken hold.

Since the passing of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools have a duty to have 'due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.' This is a major undertaking for schools and one which the majority do not feel well prepared to deal with.

In June 2015, the DfE published 'Prevent' duty guidance, which provides information for different sectors including schools, health and the police. The guidance was made more school-specific with the publication of the document, The 'Prevent' duty: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers.

The guidance is far from comprehensive and schools may feel disappointed that, given the weight of this duty, the advice for 'what to do if you have a concern' is limited to three paragraphs. However, it does provide the basis for understanding some of the requirements of these new responsibilities.

What school leaders must do

According to the guidance, the prevention of radicalisation and extremism sits neatly within schools' existing safeguarding responsibilities. School leaders will need to work closely with their designated person to ensure that staff training and policy documents and procedures comply.

School leaders are expected to be aware of what the local issues are and will need to take advice from the local authority (LA). Schools will need to work with other local organisations, including the local Prevent co-ordinator, the police and multi-agency forums, according to the local capacity of the LA.

Staff need to be aware of the risk of radicalisation and have the capability to deal with it. It is expected that leaders will promote the importance of the duty and communicate this clearly to staff. It is not only secondary schools to which the duty and guidance apply. We are reminded that children in primary schools are already receiving messages that schools should be challenging.

Members of staff will need to understand how to identify individual children who may be at risk and what to do to support them. The guidance recognises that there is no clear way of doing this and that staff must use their own professional judgement. A decision may need to be taken with the designated person to refer a pupil to the Channel programme.

The Channel programme

The Channel programme is a multi-agency approach to identifying and supporting individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism. It is intended to protect vulnerable people by:

  • identifying individuals at risk
  • assessing the nature and extent of the risk
  • developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

If your school decides that someone is at risk, then the person can be referred to the LA's Channel co-ordinator, who makes a referral to a multi-agency panel. The panel then considers what support might be necessary, including counselling, faith guidance or a programme of civic engagement.

A Channel awareness programme is available for schools to use. It describes the Channel process and takes about 25 minutes to complete.

Staff training

The main training product available for schools is the 'Workshop to raise awareness of Prevent' (WRAP). It is a two-hour workshop delivered by DVD and a facilitator and can be accessed through your LA.

Useful information can also be found on the London Grid for Learning. Sara Khan, from Counter-extremism and Inspire, has created free materials that schools can use. It include videos with Sara talking about:

  • the extremist narrative
  • online safety and the role of parents
  • reporting and best-practice case studies
  • values and developing a counter-narrative.

It provides useful training and discussion material.

The training to ensure that staff have the 'capability' to deal with the risk of radicalisation must include:

  • developing an understanding of what radicalisation means and why students might be vulnerable to it
  • what is meant by extremism
  • the relationship between extremism and terrorism
  • the measures available to prevent people from becoming drawn into terrorism
  • how to challenge extremist ideology
  • how to obtain support.

It is vital that your designated safeguarding lead has training in Prevent in order to support other staff in the school.

IT policies

Social media is a major factor in the recruitment of young people. It is important that staff understand how it is being used and the messages that are being spread.

Schools should check that their social media or acceptable use policy includes reference to the risks of radicalisation through the internet and that suitable filtering is in place. Students may be accessing these sites at home, so information about staying safe online and how the internet can be used for radicalisation purposes should be part of your curriculum.

The Home Office and DfE have produced the document How social media is used to encourage travel to Syria and Iraq: Briefing note for schools.

Building resilience

The guidance emphasises the importance of promoting fundamental British values and the role that PSHE might play. It is beneficial for schools to take a look at their PSHE policy to identify where pupils are being taught to:

  • recognise and manage risk
  • make safer choices
  • recognise when pressure from others is threatening their personal safety and wellbeing
  • develop effective ways of resisting pressure
  • know where and when to get help.

Schools should not limit discussion around sensitive issues. The danger is that young people and their teachers will be anxious about holding open and frank discussions. This will be counter-productive in the drive to address extremist tendencies.

If you have a concern

The Prevent guidance points out that it is not necessary to have a separate policy, and that information about Prevent might be included in the school's safeguarding policy.

Schools will need to assess the risk of the child or young person being drawn into terrorism based on the information they have. They will then need to decide whether it is necessary to intervene and at what level this should happen.

If a child or young person might be at risk, it is possible that the Chanel programme is a suitable next step. Schools will need to discuss this with the LA. If the individual is already engaged in illegal terrorist-related activity then schools must make a referral directly to the police, contacting the local police or dialling 101 (non-emergency number).

Where there is an immediate danger and the young person is planning to travel to Syria or Iraq, then schools should call 999 or contact the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. The LA's responsible person or children's social care can also provide advice.

Have these procedures outlined in your documents, but maintain an environment in which views can be discussed, explained and challenged as a priority. No one will benefit from creating a culture of fear where students keep their views hidden and they remain unchallenged.

Further information

Toolkit

Use the following items in the toolkit to put the ideas in the article into practice:

About the author

Dr Suzanne O'Connell was headteacher of a junior school in Warwickshire for eleven years. During her teaching career she has worked in primary and middle schools in Coventry, Bradford and Leeds. She now works as a freelance education writer and editor. Suzanne can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Most frequently read