At The Oxford Academy we pride ourselves on celebrating and promoting our diverse community with its many different ethnicities and religions. We also recognise, however, that in today’s world our young people are faced with many pressures as they grow up and can often be influenced by strong feelings expressed by others in connection with a range of complex issues. Our overriding concern is that all our young people feel safe and also express tolerance towards all cultures and religions even when personal views may be different. We do not condone political, religious or cultural extremism in any form believing it to run opposing to our fundamental values.
We have a duty of care to ensure that all in our community are protected from any dangers of being potentially or actually radicalised. The PREVENT strategy outlines the national strategy incorporating one organisation called "Channel", is designed to protect people potentially at risk of being radicalised. There are a number of indicators that may possibly indicate that an individual may be being adversely targeted by an extremist group or cause, such as:
- Suddenly changing how they dress or their appearance.
- High absence rate from school with no clear reason.
- Losing interest in friends or activities not associated with a particular ideology, with their behaviour becoming focused on an extreme idea or cause.
- Possessing or being associated with material or symbols associated with an extremist cause (e.g. the swastika for far-right groups), being in communication with suspected extremists, use of internet or other social media sites associated with extremism
The Oxford Academy endorses the PREVENT strategy that:
“Schools can help to protect children from extremist and violent views in the same ways that they help to safeguard children from drugs, gang violence or alcohol. Their purpose must be to protect children from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and our values. “
“Colleges have an important role to play in Prevent, particularly in ensuring balanced debate as well as freedom of speech. They also have a clear responsibility to exercise their duty of care and to protect the welfare of their students. Staff can identify and offer support to students who may be drawn into extremism.”
Please be reassured that all of our students are given information on staying safe (see link to students page) in the school and wider community and are told about appropriate behaviour in terms of their day to day conduct and when using technology. We do follow up and refer any inappropriate or concerning behaviour and work closely with a range of other agencies, such as the Police and Children’s Services. Our Safeguarding Team are always available to discuss any issue you as parents/carers may be concerned about.
Do not hesitate to contact us and let us work together to celebrate our diverse and tolerant community.