As an essential part of my university module, I had to complete an online course on the prevention of getting drawn into terrorism. It is clear that terrorism is a current, ongoing issue within our current society and may cause fear within a variety of schools. Therefore, I think that this training should be vital for all trainees and qualified teachers to complete. Prior to completing this training, I had no knowledge or confidence on how to deal with this societal issue and challenge peoples views. However, I now feel confident on how to approach this within schools. I feel confident with the step-by-step procedure that I may need to take if I suspect that a child is being drawn into terrorism. Although it is quite upsetting, it is important for me to always remember that this is a current issue and I may need to deal with it one day. It is important for me to do this correctly in order to protect the child and others within the environment. As a target, I want to keep up-to-date with all policies and become familiar with certain policies within the schools that I may work in.
It is important to ensure that you do not stereotype terrorists and consider that people from any age or background may be vulnerable to being drawn in to terrorism. However, many factors associated with the individual who becomes vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism include: peer pressure, bullying, the internet and race crime. As a teacher, you are always on the frontline so you may be first to notice any concerns. Therefore, it is important to know what to do if this is something that you may come across. The UK’s counter-terrorist strategy (also known as CONTEST) aims to reduce the risk to the UK and it’s interests overseas from terrorism. This will allow people to live their lives much more freely. CONTEST has four areas of work – prevent, pursue, protect and prepare. Channel is a key element of the prevention strategy and I believe that all schools should be aware of this in order to protect their pupils. Channel is about early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risk they may face of being drawn in to terrorist activities. However, upon reflection, it may be challenging to minimise these risks depending on certain circumstances. Therefore, I think that it is very important to have positive relationships with wider agencies, pupils and their families.
If you think that somebody is at risk then you should:
- Channel – identify them
- Refer them to a Channel Police Practitioner who can make an assessment
- Preliminary assessment
- Multi-agency panel – police, safeguarding officers, etc
- Support packages and interventions
Here is evidence that I have completed the following training.