Questions & Answers

The risk of young people becoming involved with extremist groups is low.

However, children from very different backgrounds, including those who do well at school and those from stable homes, have been exposed to extremist views and become radicalised. The following is a guide only: you need to use your own judgment to assess your child’s vulnerability.

Young people often struggle with their sense of identity, and this can make them vulnerable to extremist influence. Some may feel distant from their cultural or religious heritage, or isolated from the prevailing British culture, which may lead them to question their place in British society.

Personal circumstances, such as tensions in the family or having experienced a traumatic event, can also increase vulnerability. Extremists prey on low self-esteem, perceptions of injustice and feelings of failure combined with a sense of grievance, often triggered by firsthand experience of racism or discrimination. If your pupils have special educational needs, or find it difficult to interact socially, empathise or understand the consequences of their actions, they may be more vulnerable to radicalisation.

External factors, such as tensions in the local community, events affecting their country or region of origin, having friends or family who have joined extremist groups, and exposure to narrow points of view, are also a factor.

Young people involved with criminal groups, and those who have found it difficult to reintegrate after being in prison or a young offender institution, may also be at risk.

Popular Resources

A non-profit organisation that works with others to make the internet a safe place for children.

Provides vital information for parents looking to understand the risks involved if children travel to Syria.

A collection of articles, tips, expert advice and other resources to help parents keep up with what their children are doing online.

Anonymously report any online material promoting terrorism.

The NSPCC is the leading children’s charity in the UK, specialising in child protection and dedicated to the fight for every childhood.

Helps families deal with the many difficulties thrown up by the pace of technological change, and helps parents keep children safe online.

Information for parents on keeping children and young people safe against radicalisation and extremism.

Advice on keeping children and young people safe online, from Childnet International, SWGfL and the Internet Watch Foundation, plus a helpline and a hotline.