Kelly Simcock

Foundation leads European ‘Big Education’ initiative to tackle extremism

October 28, 2014 | Nick Taylor

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation is set to lead European Educators in the ‘battle’ against violent extremism as it steers an event that will bring teachers from across Europe together to share best practice and approaches to dealing with radicalisation leading to violent extremism.

The ‘Big Education’ event will take place early in 2015 bringing around 120 ‘front line’ practitioners together from across the EU.

This happens at a time when the challenges of the conflicts in the Middle East pose increasing challenges for educators in European member states – many of whom are battling to win the hearts and minds of young people in the classroom and to deter them from being drawn in to the conflict.

The Foundation itself has received increased calls from schools and colleges alike as those on the front line are seeking to safeguard their young people. Whilst the calls have been about how to deter young people from joining in with Islamist leaning groups -there have also been notable increases in young people showing support for extreme right wing groups and ideologies.

The Foundation’s Director of Commissions and EU Radicalisation Awareness Network ‘Prevent’ Co-Chair Kelly Simcock said: “The role of educators is critical in our efforts to prevent radicalisation leading to violent extremism and as a Foundation, we are pleased and proud to be leading this Pan European initiative at what is an incredibly important time.

“We know that supporting our teachers means equipping some of the most important influencers in young peoples’ lives.

As part of the European Union’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, our working group has spent two years bringing European professionals together to see what works, this is our opportunity to share that more widely.”