The Prevent Duty, radicalisation and extremism

If someone may be being influenced by others get help

New advice and social media guidance has been issued to schools and education providers to help keep them safe from the risk of radicalisation and extremism. It makes clear that every teacher should be aware of the risks posed by the online activity of extremist and terrorist groups and be vigilant of the signs of radicalisation.

Building resilience of young people and the promotion of fundamental British values is at the heart of preventing radicalisation. Promoting fundamental British values will give students the ability to challenge and resist the influence of extremist views. We provide safe places in which they can discuss controversial issues, and be given the knowledge and confidence to challenge extremist beliefs and ideologies.


The internet provides entertainment, connectivity and interaction and they may need to spend a lot of time online while studying. Social media and messaging sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Vine or Whatsapp can be useful tools but do be aware there are powerful programmes and networks that use these media to reach out to young people and can communicate extremist messages.

Peer interaction

Young people at risk may display extrovert behaviour, start getting into trouble at school or on the streets and may start mixing with a new crowd of people. However, this is not always the case.

Sometimes young people at risk of being radicalised may become withdrawn or quieter than usual because the people they are in contact with, have encouraged them not to draw attention to themselves.

TV and media

The media provide a view on world affairs. However, this is often a very simple version of events which are in reality very complex. Therefore people may not understand the situation fully or appreciate the dangers involved in the views of some groups.

Getting help and prevention

If they have any concerns that they or someone they know may be being influenced by others, encourage them to get help - talk to someone they can trust.


The Prevent Duty is a legal duty on all schools and educational providers to have due regard to preventing students being drawn into terrorism.

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

Groups with extremist views include:

  • Extreme right wing groups such as Combat 18 (C18).

  • Northern and Southern Ireland related terrorist groups including the Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters and the Real Irish Republican Army.

  • Al Qa’ida, ISIS (or IS) and terrorist organisations inspired by violent Islamism.

  • Extreme animal rights groups such as the Animal Liberation Front.

If they have a concern about extremism or radicalisation it should be reported to a member of staff. This information will be passed on to the Schools Safeguarding Team and if appropriate, referred to the local Prevent Officer.

The Prevent strategy involves working constructively with young people at risk of being radicalised and is not a criminal process. Early intervention is the key so passing on concerns at an early stage is really important.