THINK project

Foundation for Peace calls on European Education Ministers, meeting in Paris, to act to counter violent extremism

March 17, 2015 | Nick Taylor

The Foundation for Peace is to call on European Education Ministers, meeting in Paris, to act to counter violent extremism, as it launches a series of tools and projects to support school and college governors, heads and teachers to prevent radicalisation that can lead to violent extremism.

On Tuesday 17th March 2015, the Foundation joined with nearly 100 educators from across the European Union (EU) to publish a manifesto that will be presented to Ministers at a meeting in Paris.  It also comes at a time when the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill has received Royal Assent placing immediate and new statutory obligations on education establishments throughout the United Kingdom (UK).

The Foundation Chairs an EU working group that forms part of what is called the Radicalisation Awareness Network (EU RAN), set up by the European Commission (EC) to bring experts from across all member states together to share best practice.

A couple of weeks ago, educators came to the city of Manchester to draft and agree the manifesto for Education.  As part of the event the delegates visited the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre and heard about two projects that the Foundation will be offering to all schools across the UK. The THINK project, aimed at young people aged 14-19, equips them to THINK critically and confidently about their place in society, and in the process develops their skills, knowledge and understanding around core values and beliefs, allowing them to play a positive role in managing conflict.   THINK cultivates curiosity, challenges attitudes, breaks habits and increases resilience to the threat of radicalisation leading to violent extremism by encouraging young people to act rather than react.

In April, the Foundation will launch an interactive classroom based film resource called ‘My Former Life’ that will help teachers deliver this much needed work in the classroom and will support the rollout with education materials and teacher training programmes.

Foundation for Peace Director of Commissions, Kelly Simcock, is a leader of the EU working group that has led the development of the Education manifesto: “Today, we are calling European decision makers and politicians to invest in activities to prevent violent extremism.

“The law and security solutions are being enacted, the priority now is that teachers and schools need the practical help and support to deliver the new duties and responsibilities being placed upon them.

“The Foundation for Peace tools and projects are there to respond to the challenges and we hope that the Government will now help us equip teachers.”

The manifesto, which contains 24 recommendations, will be considered at a meeting of EU Member States being convened in Paris on Tuesday 17th March 2015.  It is a powerful document as it brings together nearly 100 expert opinions form across the EU.

A copy of the EU manifesto can be downloaded – click here 

The Foundation for Peace is completing the pilot tests of the THINK project, based on almost 20 years of experience in this field of work and, subject to investment, is planning to roll out nationwide from Summer Term.  My Former Life, subject to investment approval, will be launched late April.

For more information contact kelly.simcock@foundation4peace.org 

About RAN and the RAN Secretariat

The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) is set up by the European Commission as an EU-wide umbrella network of practitioners and local actors involved in countering violent radicalisation. Until 2015 different working groups will exchange experiences, knowledge and good practices. RAN supports the policy process at the EU and Member States’ level. The RAN Secretariat is managed by RadarEurope. More information on 

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/index_en.htm.

Kelly Simcock works for the Foundation for Peace and is the Co Chair of the EU RAN PREVENT strand of activity with Peter Kreko from the Hungary based organisation Political Capital.

‘Think for Peace’ (known as THINK) and My Former Life are projects of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace.  They form part of a portfolio FOR PEACE – a programme in violent conflict (terrorism, war, political violence) prevention, resolution and response.