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Who is vulnerable?

Children from all kinds of backgrounds can become radicalised. Here are some of the common factors to look out for that make young people vulnerable to radicalisation.

It’s important to know the factors that make your students more vulnerable to radicalisation. The following is a guide only, so use your professional judgment to assess students’ vulnerability.

  • Struggling with a sense of identity
  • Becoming distanced from their cultural or religious background
  • Questioning their place in society
  • Family issues
  • Experiencing a traumatic event
  • Experiencing racism or discrimination
  • Difficulty in interacting socially and lacking empathy
  • Difficulty in understanding the consequences of their actions
  • Low self-esteem

Any of these issues make children more susceptible to believing that extremists’ claims are the answer to their problems.

External factors play their part too, such as: community tension, events affecting the country or region where they or their parents are from, or having friends or family who have joined extremist groups. Exposure to one-sided points of view all contribute to the process of radicalisation.

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


A link to quickly and anonymously report online material promoting terrorism or extremism. Anyone can report material such as: articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence; content encouraging people to commit acts of terrorism; websites made by terrorist or extremist organisations; and videos of terrorist attacks. All referrals made through this tool go directly to the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit in the Metropolitan police for assessment and investigation. School staff may become aware of inappropriate content through students or through online monitoring software.

The Deliberative Classroom is a project, funded by the Department for Education, to support teachers to lead knowledge based discussions and debates with students on topical issues relating to fundamental British values, citizenship and equality. The combination of written guidance, guided debates and three short films are designed to build teacher confidence in addressing controversial issues in the classroom. They demonstrate how to create a safe space for debating controversial issues, while avoiding polarisation and promoting fundamental British values.

Students need tools to build societies that welcome diversity and encourage an open-minded and inclusive approach. To support this, teachers need straightforward and simple classroom activities.

Essentials of Dialogue is a resource for use in classrooms with year 6 to year 13 to help build skills of dialogue and critical thinking in young people, plus practical guidance on managing difficult discussions.


A note about our third-party resources 

Third-party resources are those not created directly by the Educate Against Hate team, or by the Department for Education. All third-party resources hosted on Educate Against Hate have undergone a quality-assurance process, a due diligence assessment and content review before being added to the site, so you can have confidence that you’re using trusted, accurate, high-quality content.  

You should use any resources on this website at your own discretion. When selecting resources and materials to use, schools may find it helpful to review guidance produced by the Department for Education on using external agencies.  


A pocket-size booklet for school leaders with information about extremism and radicalisation, produced by Educate Against Hate. This booklet contains useful reference information for senior leaders, safeguarding leads and governors about implementing Prevent in a school setting. This leaflet can be printed out or emailed to staff. Free printed versions are also available to order using the website’s ‘Contact Us’ form.