A SCHOOL STAFF TRAINING scheme that has already caused controversy in other parts of the UK is set to be introduced in Moray.
Teachers will be trained in spotting signs of extremism emerging in their schools and workplaces throughout Moray and the north east, part of a UK-wide plan to help teaching professionals spot early signs of extreme behaviour that may lead to radicalisation.
The idea is controversial because perfectly innocent behaviour by young people in several schools in England has been misinterpreted as extremism, causing anger amongst parents.
The UK Government introduced the ‘Prevent Programme’ last year and it is now well established in England – and is now about to be introduced in Scotland. Moray Council is reported to have already confirmed it will be taking part in the programme, while training for staff in Aberdeen is about to begin.
Aberdeenshire Council have also confirmed participation with a spokeswoman saying they were developing a strategy that “is rolling out training across Council and other public services”.
The SNP’s spokesman on education at the UK Parliament, Alec Nicoll, welcomed the plan saying that more people than ever were being exposed to radical influences.
He said: “It has been 20 years since I left the police and back then it was all about Northern Ireland and the extremism there.
“Now with the internet and social media there is more opportunity than ever for people to become exposed to these ideas.”