It is the responsibility of everyone associated with MAEL and its teaching centres to actively oppose ‘radicalisation’ i.e. the process by which individuals are drawn into movements with extreme views involving terrorism. This is not limited to any particular religion and some secular movements have also advocated terrorism as a means of advancing their aims. Prevention will involve developing an awareness of the processes by which such movements recruit, knowing how to challenge extremist views and what to do if aware of such issues.
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This has the following specific implications for the work of MAEL:
MAEL materials and qualifications may not be used to support any particular political or religious movement. The Montessori method has been used in many cultures and by various faith groups but is not exclusive to any of them.
Mutual tolerance and respect are the bedrock of any work with which MAEL is involved.
Everyone associated with MAEL needs to be aware of individual learner’s needs and how to meet them so that they will feel a need for being drawn into extremism.
The UK government has made the prevent duty a statutory requirement for everyone involved in children and education – who are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. They have proposed that this involves undertaking a risk assessment, promoting awareness through staff training, working in partnership with families and local safeguarding bodies, ensuring internet safety and building resilience through the promotion of fundamental British values.
These fundamental British values are:
2. respect for the rule of law
3. individual liberty
4. mutual respect for people with different beliefs
MAEL seeks to promote these values through the following strategies:
1. Providing Leadership on Values, as Teaching Centres (as well as MAEL itself) need to be aware of their duty to provide an ethos which upholds core values of shared responsibility and wellbeing for all students, staff and visitors and which also promotes respect, equality and diversity and understanding. This will be achieved through: (a) actively promoting the core values of respect, equality and diversity, the democratic society and respect for rules; (b) building staff and learner’s understanding of the issues and confidence to deal with them; (c) deepening engagement with local communities and families.
2. Developing teaching and learning by provide a curriculum which promotes knowledge, skills and understanding to build the resilience of students, by undermining extremist ideology and supporting the learner voice. This will be achieved through: (a) embedding equality, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and community cohesion. (b) promoting wider skill development such as social and emotional aspects of learning. (c) a curriculum adapted to recognise local needs, challenge extremist narratives and promote universal rights; (d) encouraging active citizenship/participation and hearing the learner voice.
3. Providing Adult Learner Support to ensure that staff are confident to take preventative and responsive steps working with partner professionals, families and communities. This will be achieved through: (a) establishing strong and effective learner support services. (b) listening to what is happening in the Centre and the community. (c) implementing anti-bullying strategies and challenging discriminatory behaviour. (d) helping learners and staff know how to access support from MAEL, in the Teaching Centre and/or through community partners. (e) supporting at risk students through safeguarding and crime prevention processes; (f) focussing on narrowing the attainment gap for all students.
4. Managing Risks and Responding to Events to ensure that the Centres monitor risks and are ready to deal appropriately with any issues which arise. MAEL will do this through: (a) an understanding of the nature of the threat from violent extremism and how this may impact directly or indirectly on the Centres; (b) understanding and managing potential risks within the organisation and from external influences; (c) responding appropriately to events in local, national or international news that may impact on students and communities; (d) ensuring measures are in place to minimise the potential for acts of violent extremist within the organisation and its centres through the use of risk analyses;. (e) ensuring plans are in place to respond appropriately to a threat or incident; (f) developing effective ICT security and responsible user policies.
Any issues which arise in the context of a threat from extremism must be reported to the MD, who will work with concerned parties together to produce an action plan for dealing with the issue. This will also be referred to the Board of Directors. The MD will maintain an attitude of active support throughout, but will also keep the directors cognizant of the on-going situation.
Document written 16.03.2016