PREVENT  is a national programme that aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism or extremist causes. It works to ensure that people who are susceptible to radicalisation are offered appropriate interventions, and communities are protected against radicalising influences.

Radicalisation can happen when a person develops extreme views or beliefs that support terrorist groups or activities.

There are different types of terrorism, and Prevent deals with all of them.

The most common types of terrorism in the UK are Extreme Right-Wing terrorism and Islamist terrorism


We all need to be aware that individuals and groups with extremist views use the internet and social media to spread their ideologies. Children spend a lot of time online, and this has made them more susceptible to extremism, whether from Islamists or the far right.

Extremist groups tap into young people’s insecurities. They often claim to offer answers and promise a sense of identity that vulnerable young people often seek. These feelings of insecurity can become more heightened when a child is feeling:

  • Marginalised from society
  • Trapped between two cultures
  • Excluded from the mainstream

As part of their recruitment strategy, extremist groups also work to undermine the authority of parents. This can be particularly attractive to vulnerable children who don’t have parental guidance, or who come from unstable homes.

Extremist groups also use very sophisticated methods to trigger feelings of anger, injustice and shame that a child might feel towards a parent.

But it’s important to remember that any child can be affected by extremism. You can play a vital role by providing emotional support that acts as an alternative to the extremist narratives that your child might feel comfortable believing.

It’s not easy to talk to your child about the dangers of extremism, but as with issues such as sex and drugs, it’s necessary. Give your child a safe space where they can talk about difficult subjects. The more you talk, the more confident your child will become in challenging extremist narratives.


At St Stephen's, staff have been trained to spot the signs where pupils may have been exposed to or influenced  by extremist views. We have risk assessment in place which helps us identify and act on potential issues as well as signpost to support groups and other agencies. Our child protection and IT policies also refer to our responsibilities around PREVENT. 

For more information please read the parents information booklet.