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Key signs of extremism and radicalisation to look out for

In 2011 the government unveiled the Prevent strategy.  Specifically, this aims to prevent young adults from developing views associated with extremism. At tpm, we take this duty seriously and believe that the most effective learning and work take place within the context of tolerance and respect for others. To emphasise, we have a strict zero-tolerance stance on discrimination because we want all staff and learners to feel safe. Furthermore, we encourage everyone to speak to their manager, trainer or the safeguarding team if they have concerns about themselves or anyone else.

Here are five key signs of extremism or radicalisation to look out for;

Downloading, viewing or sharing extremist propaganda online

Extremists often share propaganda1 online using social media in an attempt to radicalise2 the views of others. These posts can be used to incite hatred and spread false messages. Downloading, sharing and viewing extremist propaganda can often indicate that someone is in danger of becoming radicalised.

Demonstrating increasingly extreme views and opinions regarding another section of society or government policy

Extremists will often display views which don’t fit with British Values3. Consequently, they’ll often be intolerant of others and critical of the government and other authority. They may do this verbally or using the internet to spread their ideas.

Expressing a desire to take part in, or support extremist activity

Extremists often promote violence and physical action. You might notice someone supporting or participating in this kind of behaviour. This could be a sign that they are becoming radicalised.

Changing appearance and health (including mental health) may be suffering

Dramatic changes in appearance can often be a first warning that someone may be a safeguarding concern. Similarly, a change in health, including mental health could be another sign that something is wrong. So if you notice this, along with other signs then it could in fact mean there is a threat of radicalisation.

Becoming withdrawn and possibly isolated from friends and family

People involved in extremist activity often withdraw from friends and family as they know that they may not approve. People radicalising them may encourage this so that they are easier to manipulate.

What do we do at tpm to help prevent extremism and radicalisation?

Here is how we facilitate respect and tolerance in our learning centre:

  • Firstly, we have a Zero Tolerance Promise which outlines our staff and learner zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination, extremism or radicalisation
  • Also, all staff and students complete formal training in equality and diversity
  • tpm staff teach students to recognise the risks of radicalisation and extremism
  • Teachers and trainers actively promote British Values to students. They do this by embedding them into the curriculum and through professional discussions
  • Students learn also about the Prevent Duty, how to stay safe online and how to be an effective digital citizen through embedded curriculum activities. This is in association with the Education Training Foundation and Child Exploitation and Online Protection organisations

If you are a tpm learner worried about extremism or radicalisation, please contact your trainer or Tammy, Lisa or Brian, our safeguarding staff. Rest assured we will provide you with confidential support and advice. Similarly, please contact us if you feel you have been subject to discrimination. It’s important to remember we’re here to support you and ensure your safety.

Notes:

  1. Propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
  2. The radicalisation of someone means they have been converted to an extreme point of view
  3. The five British Values are: Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual liberty, Mutual respect, Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs