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School heads raise alarm over new duty to protect students from extremism
Anna – not her real name – finds it hard to imagine a scenario that would prompt her to report that a pupil was at risk of being sucked into terrorist activity. The multicultural West Midlands school of which she is head has a strong ethos of tolerance and diversity, she explains. And yet she questions whether her confidence is misplaced.
"I wonder if the people at the Bethnal Green Academy thought the same thing as me a year ago," she says. "That's the fear, isn't it? Getting this wrong is terrifying."
From 1 July all schools will have a legal duty to prevent pupils being drawn into terrorism – defined as not just violent extremism, but also non-violent extremism that can "create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and popularise views which terrorists exploit".
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