Prevent for Homestays

What is the Prevent duty?

A government strategy, which is aimed at reducing the likelihood of people getting involved in extremism/terrorism. It is a British Council requirement that we take part in the strategy and it currently forms part of the English UK/British Council Accreditation UK inspection criteria.

Understanding the terminology

  • In its Prevent Duty Guidance document the government defines extremism* as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.”

*NB: of course extremism can refer to a range of views, e.g. racism, homophobia, right-wing ideology, as well as any religious extremism.

Understanding the risk of extremism

  • Students (or staff, group leaders, homestays etc.) may arrive at the school already holding extremist views. Or, during their stay, they may be influenced by a range of factors: global events, peer pressure, media, extremist materials, inspirational speakers, or friends and relatives.
  • People who are vulnerable are more likely to be susceptible to extremist influences.

Their vulnerability could stem from a range of causes, including: loss of identity or a sense of belonging, isolation, social exclusion, mental health problems, a sense of injustice, a personal crisis or trauma, bereavement and being /knowing a victim of/ witnessing discrimination or a hate crime and being away from their usual support network at home could  also increase their vulnerability.

It also might not!

Some signs that may cause concern

  • Students talking about exposure to extremist materials or views, in the event of which information must be shared with relevant local authorities via the school Prevent lead (Mark Calland, Vice-Principal)
  • Accessing extremist material online or via social network sites
  • Changes in attitude, e.g. intolerant of differences/ having a closed mind
  • Asking questions about topics connected to extremism
  • Offering opinions that appear to have come from extremist ideologies
  • Attempts to impose own views/ beliefs on others
  • Use of extremist vocabulary to exclude others or incite violence
  • Drawings, posters or books showing extremist ideology/ views/ symbols
  • Other students voicing concerns about this person

Ways to counteract risks

  • Promote a safe and supportive international environment and encourage students to respect other people with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Exemplify core British values through your general behaviour, for example by being fair and tolerant of others. The approach is to educate that this is how things are in UK although it may be different in the student’s own country.
  • Calmly challenge extremist ideas which attempt to legitimise illegal or terrorist activity.

In most situations this would require an immediate response, referring to the international environment of the school, and tolerance expected, then reporting concerns.

  • The better you get to know students, their home circumstances and friendship groups, the easier it is to spot changes in behaviour
  • Try to be observant and vigilant in noticing any signs of radical or extremist behaviour including students accessing extremist/ terrorist websites/uses of social networks to exchange extremist/ terrorist views
  • Support any students identified as vulnerable.

Finally, we the school and you as one of our homestays are required not to support or fund any extremist organisations.

How and when to react to concerns

If Mark is away, contact John Duncan or Andrew Edwards 0117 9707060

NB: Any concerns relating to a person under 18 are safeguarding issues and can be dealt with by all our safeguarding staff as well as the Prevent lead Mark Calland and then, where necessary, the Local Safeguarding Children board (LSCB) will be contacted.

  • Confidentiality is assured for the person reporting a concern
  • Report any concern or incident, however small. It will be dealt with sensitively and carefully

If necessary, Mark, John or Andrew will then contact: Avon and Somerset Prevent counter intelligence unit DC Mike O’Connell and PC Mike Perry 01179455543 07717 151458

People deemed at risk could then be referred to the Channel programme.

Channel is a voluntary programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The programme uses a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:

  1. identifying individuals at risk;
  2. assessing the nature and extent of that risk; and
  3. developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

The subject’s consent is required (or parent’s consent for under 18s) before they undertake the programme.