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Schools: Radicalism

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2519, tabled on 7 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the University College London report  Addressing Extremism Through the Classroom, published on 7 September; and what steps are they taking to provide schools with the training and tools to teach pupils how to reject extremist views.

Answered on

22 September 2021

Officials in the Department for Education have reviewed the report with interest and are engaged with the research team at University College London.

The government is committed to supporting the education sector to equip pupils and staff to understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments. The ‘School Snapshot Survey: Winter 2017’ report indicated that 98% of leaders and teachers were confident that their school effectively teaches the values of respect and tolerance of those from different backgrounds, and that 94% of teachers were confident in their responsibilities to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Our ‘Educate Against Hate’ website provides teachers, school leaders and parents with the information, guidance and support they need to challenge radical views and keep their children safe, including from online extremist influences. The School Snapshot Survey: Winter 2017, published in 2018, highlights that 85% of school leaders and teachers that used Educate Against Hate thought it helped them to understand how to raise a concern. Additionally, 82% felt it helped them to identify signs of radicalisation and 79% stated it helped them promote mutual respect tolerance and understanding of those with different faiths.

The department continues to identify and produce high-quality resources to assist teachers to build pupils’ resilience to extremist ideologies. This includes hosting resources from the charity ‘Since 9/11’, who the department has worked with to develop teaching materials ahead of the 20th anniversary of September 11th attacks.

The department works closely with and supports the network of Prevent Education Officers based in local authorities, who play an important role in supporting schools. This network provides support and guidance to schools, develops bespoke lesson resources, and provides training to school staff, empowering teachers to approach extremism in the classroom. These practitioners help to inform the development of policy and practice nationally.