The Government Prevent Duty and Channel Programme.

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is seen as part of Reigate Schools’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable children and young people from being radicalised.

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many ways and settings. Background factors combined with specific influences such as family and friends may contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Similarly, radicalisation can occur through many different methods including social media and the internet.

However, it is possible to protect vulnerable children and young people from extremist ideology through early identification and intervention in line with the government Prevent Duty. As with other safeguarding risks, staff remain alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate they may be in need of help or protection. Staff use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and information is shared with the school safeguarding team in line with the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy  which may include making a referral to the Channel Programme for additional support.


Prevent Duty 2015

The Prevent duty guidance has been updated for the first time since 2015. The updated guidance came into force on 31 December 2023, subject to the necessary Parliamentary processes

DFE Guidance: Preventing children from radicalization

What is the Prevent Duty?

From July 2015, all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. Importantly, schools can provide a safe place for children to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.

How does the Prevent Duty apply to schools?

DFE Guidance: Prevent duty guidance: Guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales

What does this mean in practice?

At Reigate School many of the things we already do to help children become positive, happy members of society which contributes to the Prevent Duty.

These include:

  • Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity.
  • Challenging prejudices and racist comments.
  • Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity.
  • Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our school and wider community, as well as British values such as democracy, rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

At Reigate School we also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to ensure they cannot access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with children.

Key Terms

  • Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
  • Ideology – a set of beliefs.
  • Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause.
  • Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and the Prevent Strategy does not aim to criminalise people for holding views; instead, it seeks to stop individuals from going to the extreme of committing or encouraging violent activity.

The Channel Programme

Channel is a national voluntary, confidential support programme:

  • Channel is a process that has developed to provide support at an early stage to people at risk of being drawn towards terrorism in all its forms.
  • It works in a pre-criminal space as a multi-agency process that relies on close collaboration between police, partners and other key stakeholders. Channel provides an appropriate support package tailored to an individuals needs.

To report or discuss a concern, Reigate School’s Single Point of Access for Prevent is Mrs S Jethwa, Designated Safeguarding Lead, who can be contacted either by telephone on 01737 243166, or via email

Surrey Police

Working with other organisations, the police protect vulnerable people from being exploited by extremists through the Prevent programme.

The role of police Prevent Officers is to help people vulnerable to radicalisation move away from extremism. It can be hard to know what to do if someone is expressing extreme views or hatred, which could lead to them harming themselves or others. Prevent Officers are there to listen and offer help and advice.

Working with partners, Prevent officers have helped many people to move away from extremism and find a new direction by putting the right package of support in place, which could be from a doctor, through a school, or with a local community group or mentor.

Police work with a range of partners including:

  • local authorities
  • schools and colleges
  • faith leaders
  • community groups, including women’s groups and youth groups
  • voluntary services
  • health practitioners

Additional Resources

How to Talk to Children About Terrorism - Save the Children

Terrorism in the UK | Surrey Police

Radicalisation - Surrey County Council