This page sets out the Scottish approach to safeguarding and protecting the wellbeing of vulnerable young people from the influence of people promoting violent extremism and terrorism.
This is for school leaders, teachers, practitioners and partners
Schools have an important role to play by providing a safe space for learners to explore, discuss and debate the range of social and political issues in our rapidly changing world. It is important to develop young people's skills to be able to engage as active citizens in a democratic society, developing critical thinking skills so that they become resilient to and equipped to challenge divisive viewpoints and hate speech.
Staff should have a clear understanding of how the holding of views which endorse violent extremism can lead to safeguarding issues for the wellbeing of the individual young person.
Within the curriculum, Social Studies, Health and Wellbeing, and Religious and Moral Education have particular roles to play in helping children and young people develop their understanding of the world by learning about other people, cultures, beliefs, attitudes and values. With greater understanding comes the opportunity and ability to influence events by exercising informed and responsible citizenship in a democratic and diverse society.
It is important to use learning and teaching methodologies that support collaborative learning and critical thinking, help to create supportive learning environments, and to address controversial issues effectively.
Helping to challenge misinformed views and perceptions amongst learners and challenging commonly held myths, for example regarding particular communities, requires skilled practitioners who use techniques that open up discussion. Staff members should model to learners how diverse views can be heard, analysed and challenged in a way which values dignity, freedom of speech, and freedom from harm.
Establishments should consider the professional development needs of staff, to build capacity so that the school is better equipped to deal with potential safeguarding issues.