The Department for Education has today released results from research conducted with 10 local authorities between 7th March and 1st April 2016, to understand how they were responding to suspected radicalisation issues.

The research revealed a variety of practices being used. In addition, there were varying levels of confidence in identifying ‘vulnerable’ individuals in radicalisation and determining an appropriate response; understanding the ‘ownership’ of cases in some areas; and questions over the legitimacy of interventions.

One example from the report highlighted a successful way in which safeguarding, child protection professionals and families had worked together effectively to identify and support a child at risk of radicalisation. Using a computer monitoring solution, the phrase, ‘How much does it cost to travel to Syria?’ had been flagged, allowing a teacher to approach the child to understand the context. With the support of early help services and family members, the necessary support – including behavioural interventions –was put in place.

Based on the results, the Department for Education has created two actions:

1.       Facilitate debate within local authorities about where the responsibility for handling the risk of radicalisation sits.

2.       Build capability and capacity within the safeguarding and child protection system.

With these steps, the Department for Education hopes to clarify the appropriate response to radicalisation and, in turn, staff will become confident in handling these cases, including engaging effectively with the families and young people at the heart of these issues.

Helping schools to identify and support students who are experiencing safeguarding issues including radicalization, is school IT asset management solution, NetSupport DNA. With its built-in safeguarding module containing features such as keyword and phrase monitoring, schools gain an insight into what students are typing, copying or searching for online, whilst tracking application use for context. Alerts can also be triggered for terms deemed by the school as being of high severity, meaning staff can take action swiftly.