London: In an attempt to give students more positive grooming, British schools are referring as many as five children a day to the government’s deradicalisation programme to prevent them from becoming terrorists, a report has claimed on Tuesday.
Figures released by the UK’s National Police Chiefs Council under the Freedom of Information Act showed schools referred 1,041 children last year to Channel, the Government’s deradicalisation programme under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act.
Local authorities, such as departments including housing and social care reported a further 284 vulnerable young people.
“Like safeguarding mechanisms for other risks such as child sexual exploitation, vulnerable children deserve to have the support they need. Protecting those who are vulnerable and at risk of radicalisation is a job for all of us,” a UK Home Office spokesperson said.
Channel is part of the UK government’s Prevent strategy, which seeks to stop British youths becoming terrorists.
A person’s potentially extremist beliefs are challenged and thus, positively trained through sessions as such to show them that their way of thinking is delusional. Often it involves former extremists sharing their experiences.
Individuals are free to withdraw and parents have the right to refuse consent for Channel.
According to the figures obtained by the newspaper, in further education colleges there were 180 referrals, compared with five in 2012.
Higher education institutions such as universities reported 76 students and the health service had 228 referrals last year.