Education and Extremism

In the light of controversial new legislation brought into force last week, we are attaching the union's guidelines on this matter which clearly explain what can and cannot be required of teachers. 

It is important for schools having to implement PREVENT that we are clear about the distinction between a safeguarding concern for individuals who might be at risk, or might take actions that put others at risk; and a carelessly loose definition of “radicalisation” or “extremism” that could blur the distinction between those contemplating going to join ISIS or planting bombs at home with those who might be critical of British foreign policy in the Middle East, or might wish to challenge aspects of contemporary British life on the level of ideas. Unless teachers are very clear that schools are safe places for views to be expressed and challenged freely, this has the danger of closing down discussion about crucial world events and social values, or restricting them to a such a deadened official discourse that it will not create the resilience our students will need to challenge simplistic narratives: wherever they come from.

 

The second danger is that Muslim students and their parents feel under surveillance and suspicion as well as on the receiving end of Islamophobia bullying in the playground or on the streets.  Part of our job as teachers is to do our best to make sure that our Muslim students and their families feel as safe and at home as everyone else.

Please read the accompanying document, pass it on to your PSHCE co-ordinator and safeguarding manager, let us know of any developments in school and let us know what you think yourself.


The NUT Advice for Members can be downloaded below

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general office,
6 Jul 2015, 06:45
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