Sunday, 31 July 2016

SACC calls for a moratorium on PPC programme

Published on 13 Jul 2016
"Karen Bradley MP, a Home Office minister, left the Joint Committee on Human Rights in the dark about Government efforts to crack down on extremism, after she failed to provide clarity on various issues, including the Government’s definition of extremism. Bradley appeared before the Committee on 29 June."  
Press Release from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities 17 July 2016

"SACC is calling for a moratorium on the Scottish roll-out of controversial counter-terrorism training for teachers following a damning report on the programme by the charity Rights Watch UK..."

"The report draws on case studies of the operation of the Prevent strategy in England and Wales, where the current implementation of Prevent has a longer history than in Scotland. It also looks at the human rights framework applicable to Prevent."

"The Prevent strategy has not yet been fully implemented in Scottish schools. It was launched by Education Scotland at a conference held in Glasgow in February. Some Scottish teachers - especially those in promoted positions - have already received training in the strategy. The rest of Scotland's teachers are expected to be trained at the end of the summer break."

"The training tells teachers how to spot students who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and could go on to become terrorists or supporters of terrorism. Teachers are trained to report students who they are concerned about to police under the `Prevent Professional Concerns` (PPC) programme - the Scottish equivalent of `Channel`."

"Reports to the police under PPC do not normally involve any suspicion of criminal conduct or intent. For students to be reported, it is enough for them to fall within the government's profile of vulnerability to radicalisation by changing their day to day behaviour and/or showing an interest in political issues linked in the government's view to terrorism."

"SACC and other human rights groups believe that the Prevent strategy is discriminatory, undermines the relationship between educators and students, and is more likely to foster terrorism than to prevent it."

"The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) - the main Scottish teaching union - is opposed to Prevent..."

"As a counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent is reserved to Westminster. But its implementation in Scotland involves functions devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Statutory guidance on the Prevent duty under the UK's Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was issued jointly by the UK and Scottish Governments."

"It is within the power of Education Scotland and the Scottish Government to instigate a moratorium on Prevent training in Scottish schools in the light of the Rights Watch UK findings."  

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