Tameside Primary School

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Extremism and Radicalisation - Advice for Parents and Carers

The following information is taken from West Midlands Police website

Extremism has many forms and promotes different ideologies, but the radicalisation journey is often very similar. It can lead to someone adopting violent views, breaking the law and even committing acts of terrorism.

The earlier stages of the radicalisation process will see changes in behaviour that are most likely to be spotted by those closest to the individual, such as close friends, teachers and – crucially – family members.

Help is available to support and safeguard those who may be vulnerable to negative influences but we need to encourage people to come forward and tell us about their concerns as early as possible.

What are the warning signs ?

There is no single way of identifying someone who is likely to be vulnerable to radicalisation but factors could include:

  • peer pressure
  • spending time on the Internet being influenced by others
  • bullying
  • change of appearance or behaviour
  • crime and anti-social behaviour
  • family tensions
  • race hate/crime
  • lack of self-esteem or identity and personal or political grievances.

The Syrian conflict

The conflict in Syria has resulted in an increase in the number of counter terrorism investigations being carried out nationally and locally.

More and more we are seeing news reports of distraught families who have discovered that their loved ones have secretly left home and put themselves and others at risk by travelling to Syria.

Here in the West Midlands we have seen cases of young people going to great lengths to deceive their families and keep their travel plans secret.

Again, the warning signs will vary but these may provide an indication travel to Syria is being planned:

  • Asking for their passport and other important documents like birth certificates
  • Saving money
  • Buying new clothes
  • Paying off bills
  • Researching travel plans online
  • Researching online, goods & clothes to take (binoculars, maps, boots, first aid kit)

Help through the Channel programme

The local authority led Channel programme is designed to support and safeguard individuals vulnerable to all forms of radicalisation. It is an early intervention, voluntary scheme which helps people make positive life choices.

The programme brings together a range of safeguarding agencies, partners and community based mentors who will be able to offer assistance with:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Mentoring
  • Employment

What should you do if you are concerned?

The NSPCC helpline, now provide help and support to adults worried about the radicalisation of a child. This may mean listening to their fears, helping them recognise the warning signs, or highlighting local support services that are available.They can be contacted on 0808 800 5000 or text 88858

Children are also able to Childline if they're worried that they're being influenced by other people, or if they have more general worries about terrorism. Our helpline practitioners and Childline counsellors have received dedicated training to respond to this issue. They can be contacted on 0800 1111

NSPCC helplines offer a safe, non-judgmental space where adults and children can talk confidentially. However, if a child was thought to be at significant risk of harm, they would alert the appropriate authorities, as they would in any case where a child's safety is in serious question.

Further information can also be found on the Educate Against Hate website which is accessible on the following link:

Alternatively, If you think someone is vulnerable to being radicalised, or if you think someone is planning to travel to Syria, you can get help by calling the police on 101 or, if it is an emergency, dial 999.

 You can also speak to a trusted adult in school who will be able to get help.