Teachers vote against anti-radicalisation strategy

There have been a number of erroneous referrals to Prevent Credit: PA

The Government's anti-radicalisation strategy has been rejected outright by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) at its annual conference.

Concerns the approach is silencing conversation in the classroom and damaging community cohesion, the union called on the Government to withdraw the Prevent strategy regarding schools.

Since summer 2015, teachers have been obliged to refer to police pupils they suspect of engaging in "terrorist activity" or radical behaviour.

But this has been largely considered a failure with around 90% of referrals resulting in no action being taken.

Erroneous referrals to Prevent

  • 17-year-old who had a "Free Palestine" leaflet in his possession

  • Four-year-old boy who misspelled cucumber as something resembling "cooker bomb"

  • 10-year-old Muslim who mistakenly wrote that he lived in a "terrorist house" rather than a "terraced house"

At the conference in Brighton, members voted unanimously in favour of the Government developing an alternative strategy to safeguard children and identify risk.

It comes as independent expert David Anderson QC said the duty had become "a significant source of grievance among British Muslims, encouraging mistrust to spread and to fester".