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Scottish schools Prevent Strategy Launched

The Prevent strategy for Scottish schools was launched at a conference held at Lourdes Secondary School, Glasgow on Wednesday 24 February. The conference was attended by over 100 people said to be "strategic education leaders" and was "led" by pupils from the school.

The Minister for Learning, Sciences and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alastair Allan, opened the conference. He said:

"I'm pleased to open the PREVENT conference at Lourdes Secondary School today. This work plays such an important role in helping to safeguard Scotland’s children and young people from extremist ideology and being drawn into terrorism.

"By working with education and supporting staff to help them develop the skills and knowledge to identify those at risk, we can help to prevent future generations becoming radicalised by extremism."

Lesley Brown, Strategic Director for Families, Inclusion and Local Authorities at Education Scotland, said: "Through today’s conference we wanted to assist schools with integrating the UK Government’s PREVENT strategy into the Scottish context.

"We are also developing a series of regional roadshows aimed at those working in education as we are keen to consult with them on the best approach to delivering PREVENT in classrooms and develop suitable teaching resources to support this."

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Lifelong Learning, said: "It is so important that we all work together to make sure our young people feel safe and secure. Our young people are actively encouraged to be part of informed debates about current international issues as part of their citizenship and values education and we will continue to pursue this rights based approach."

Clare Bond, from the Scottish Preventing Violent Extremism Unit, said: "This event, Learning and Living Together, is a very valuable opportunity to explore the Scottish approach to Prevent with a key Education audience. Our collective focus is always on the early identification of risk to individuals, in order to provide them with appropriate support and prevent them from being radicalised. The Prevent strategy in Scotland is intentionally closely aligned to existing safeguarding protocols, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals and communities".

Prevent is said by the Government to be aimed at stopping people turning to terrorism. It is Islamophobic and anti-democratic, and is more likely to drive people to terrorism than away from it. SACC calls for Prevent to be scrapped, and for staff in schools to resist it.