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Improving structures to prevent and counter radicalisation in schools

Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) will develop as part of the MINDb4ACT project a pilot of a programme for schools to prevent or counter radicalisation processes in adolescents at a very early stage. Radicalisation processes inspired by politico-religious ideas and particularly those of an Islamist nature will be the programme’s main focus.

The objective behind the programme is to increase schools’ capacities to fruitfully and effectively manage (potential) radicalisation cases of young people through a holistic and collaborative approach. For that purpose school personnel, in a first step, will be sensitised for psychosocial crises among young people that might well lead to or appear camouflaged as “radicalisation processes”. In a second step, schools will then be provided with a system of structured procedures that will allow them to deal with such cases. In the course of the implementation of that system school personnel will be trained to (1) detect signs of sprouting and already ongoing processes of radicalisation and, thus, identify potential radicalisation cases among their students at an early point in time, (2) compile and double-check all information available about the cases identified, (3) perform subsequent risk, threat and needs assessment on the cases, and (4) develop tailor-made supporting measures for each case. In order to avoid any kind of defamation, hysteria and stigmatisation, utmost attention is paid to include consistent precautionary measures at all stages of the pilot programme’s procedures and in all of the tools the programme will draw upon.

The programme will be implemented in the German Federal State of North-Rhine-Westphalia. Its development will include qualitative field research with schools and other first-line practitioners working in or with schools.