“Where is it safe to stab someone?”

What would you say if a young person asked you this question?  At a BRAVE (building resilience against violence and extremism) training session with a year group of teenagers in a secondary school in Birmingham, questions were invited.  A genuine query from one was ‘where is it safe to stab someone?’ They thought there might be parts […]

My Son joined ISIS: Unravelling the web of deception in radicalization.

On 1st June 2015 Rasheed Benyahia, aged 19, travelled from Birmingham to Syria to join Islamic State.  Within 6 months he was dead.  In the film just released My Son Joined Isis, his mother Nicola Benyahia tells his story and hers.   It is a gripping narrative, with the recurrent pounding questions – how is it that nobody knew?  […]

What works in educating against extremism? My report for the University of Gothenburg.

The 8 key principles. When it comes to educating against extremism, two fundamental questions inevitably arise – what works, and how can we measure it? Eight key principles of effective PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) emerge from an extensive global review I have just completed,  commissioned by the Segerstedt Institute of the University of Gothenburg. They were interested in what […]

Should teachers engage in conversations on violent extremism if they don’t feel professionally ready to do so?

A free, online Guide has just been launched by UNESCO called Preventing Violent Extremism through Education:  A Guide for Policy Makers (2017).  This is particularly designed for policy makers in Ministries of Education, but also planners, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, school heads, teachers, counsellors and school managers. Report structure I was one of the two lead authors […]

Q+A Factsheet: What should teachers do in the event of a terrorist attack?

In light of the Manchester terror attacks, how should schools and teachers respond when there has been a terrorist attack in UK or elsewhere?  Students will be asking questions, talking among themselves, talking with families.  Schools cannot ignore events, however controversial and disturbing it is to raise them.  Here’s our top tips. SIX SUMMARY POINTS […]

Is it safe to invite a former extremist into schools to talk to your students?

At a recent showcase of our films of former extremists talking about their experiences, secondary school students (alongside teachers) were intrigued to meet one of them live, with the opportunity to ask questions. Amongst other things, students were fascinated to know whether Shahid regretted becoming a fighter and being involved in violence.  His answer was complex.  The path that he […]

What Should Teachers Teach about Donald Trump?

One of the banners on the Women’s March in London to protest against President Donald Trump read ‘LITERALLY EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS SO AWFUL I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START’.   In some ways, teachers pondering on how to talk about Trump in their classrooms are spoiled for choice.  Virtually everything is a ‘teachable moment’.  […]

A citizen of nowhere: can Global Citizenship Education help in Preventing Violent Extremism?

At the 2016 Conservative party conference, the British Prime Minister Theresa May attacked the workings of the rootless ‘international elite’ with the words “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere”.   Global citizenship education (GCE) has struggled over the years with the somewhat amorphous notion of what it means […]

The problem of sexual harassment in schools.

Our SOS+ Co-ordinator CJ welcomes that the issue of sexual harassment in schools is being addressed and explains how SOS+ service at St Giles Trust can help. The shocking and saddening statistic from the Women’s Equalities Committee (published 13 September 2016) report which shows nearly 59% of girls and young women had experienced some form of sexual […]

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