Freely available to all UK schools, the new ‘Counter-Extremism – narratives and conversations’ resource from the London Grid for Learning aims to help schools prevent pupils from being radicalised online.
The resource comprises a series of bitesize videos featuring Sara Khan, director of women’s rights and counter-extremism organisation Inspire. In each one Sara concisely explains the context behind the threat of radicalisation and provides tips on how teachers can engage pupils in a dialogue about extremism.
Clear and easy to use, the resource has been created to build the confidence of class teachers, school leadership teams, and non-teaching staff in safeguarding young people and also challenging anti-Muslim sentiment. It can be used to guide leadership teams on strategy formation, but is just as helpful for provoking discussion and reflection by individual teachers. Additionally, it can be used in Citizenship and PSHE lessons as a teaching asset.
Sara Khan is renowned as an expert in the field of counter-extremism and women’s rights and her views are often sought by government and media. Here, her insight helps teachers understand topics such as the ISIS narrative and why it is so engaging for some young people, the role of social media, the importance of teaching e-safety and effectively providing a counter narrative to extremism. She also highlights that mainstream Islam is a world apart from organisations such as ISIS, and lays out principles that apply equally to all forms of extremism, including the far-right and Islamophobia.
Recognising that some teachers feel uncomfortable or ill-informed when trying to provide a counter-narrative to ISIS, for example, Sara also explains that teachers can ask general questions about human rights, treatment of women or the use of violence in order to get pupils questioning extremist practices.
The resource will help school staff act in accordance with the new Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which came into effect on 1st July 2015 and outlines that schools have a statutory responsibility for the active prevention and detection of radicalism amongst their pupils. The Act states 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.”
Schools can access the resource for free by heading to https://counterextremism.lgfl.net