Morgan launches ‘Educate Against Hate’

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has launched an anti-radicalisation website aimed at tackling extremism which she says will be used to ‘educate against hate’.

The new measures are due to be announced at Bethnal Green Academy, a school which saw three of its pupils travel to Syria in February 2015. Morgan added the project’s objective will be to protect ‘impressionable minds from radical views’.

Morgan announced that the website is ‘absolutely not about shutting down debate in schools’ or ‘wrapping young people in cotton wool’.

She said: “We are determined to keep children safe in and out of school. Today’s announcement of resources and tougher powers to protect young, impressionable minds from radical views sends a clear message to extremists: our children are firmly out of your reach.

“Educate Against Hate will provide teachers and parents with the expertise they need to challenge radical views and keep their children safe. Our tougher stand against illegal schools will help prevent children from falling under the grasp of extremists. And by improving intelligence on where children go when they deregister from schools we will help prevent future incidents of young, preventing children falling under the spell of twisted ideologies.

“There will be no single knockout blow against those who seek to corrupt young people - but the action we are taking to protect children, inform parents and support teachers will put us firmly on the front foot.”

When questioned about whether pupils should be able to wear face veils in schools, Morgan responded that dress codes were ‘up to the school’ and that schools had the right to impose a uniform policy.

The website will provide ‘practical advice to protect children from the dangers of extremism’, including information on the warning signs of danger, how parents should talk to children about extremism and the steps concerned parents can take.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said: “Our mission is to keep children safe from harm. We are contacted daily by worried parents and children themselves on all sorts of issues including radicalisation and dangers associated with extremism.

“Spotting the signs of such abuse has never been more important if we are to help protect children from sexual exploitation, gang related activity or other hate crimes. Together we must help equip young people with a resilience and confidence in understanding and judging the risks associated with growing up, while ensuring adults are alive to identifying tell-tale signs of exploitation so they can be rapidly addressed."

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