Israel Hamas Conflict | Guidance & Resources For Schools

This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Education Safeguarding Professional, Jatinder Matharu, for the attention of All Schools.

You will be aware of how this heightened violence can often have a knock-on effect on inter-faith relations, hate crime incidents and exploitation by extremists here in the UK.  

A  letter that was sent yesterday afternoon to all schools and colleges from Message on the Israel Hamas conflict from the Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, the Minister for Schools Nick Gibb and the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon ( to provide advice on managing difficult conversations about the terrorist attacks/conflict.

A short update has been put together below regarding prevent referrals and sharing of intelligence.

Prevent Referrals

Prevent seeks to intervene early, to stop individuals becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.  Where someone is concerned a person may have been deliberately exposed to harmful terrorist narratives, it is right that they refer them to the necessary authorities.  A Prevent referral does not amount to an accusation of criminality.  Rather, it allows for a multi-agency assessment to be conducted and support to be provided to help divert people from engaging in harmful activity. Through this referral, the person will be able to receive the vital support they need. 

Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation, and it is illegal to encourage support for them. This would also be contrary to the British values that schools and colleges should promote and embody.

All referrals to Prevent are carefully assessed based on the specific details of the case and referred through your usual prevent processes (attached).  If a person is found to not be at risk of radicalisation, the case is immediately closed to Prevent.  They may be referred to other appropriate services,  no further action may be taken.

Lawful non-violent protest or activism does not meet the threshold for Prevent referrals.  Holding legitimate political views is not an indicator for extremism provided they are not expressed or furthered by statements, deeds or actions which result in harassment, intimidation or threats of violence against individuals or society itself.

Prevent & Schools

Many young people will have a strong personal interest in these issues, and we are aware that in some schools this may lead to political activity by older pupils.  Schools should ensure that political expression by pupils is done sensitively, avoiding disruption and feelings of intimidation or targeting for other pupils and staff.  Schools should also make every effort to ensure that this activity does not extend to discriminatory bullying or involve the expression of antisemitic, anti-Muslim, or other discriminatory views.  Where this does happen, the Department for Education expect schools to deal with these incidents with all due seriousness, in line with their behaviour policy.

Depending on the circumstances, safeguarding leads may also look to determine whether abusive and discriminatory views expressed or shared by pupils are representative a wider susceptibility, and consider the appropriateness of engaging with support through the Prevent programme. We trust teachers and other staff to exercise their professional judgment about whether a referral is appropriate, as they do for all other safeguarding risks.  Further training and more discussion around radicalisation will help in addressing this, and advice and guidance is available on Educate Against Hate and GOV.UK to support safeguarding leads in making these decisions.

Schools should also be mindful of their legal duties regarding political impartiality and should always avoid working organisations that promote antisemitic, anti-Muslim or any other discriminatory views. The Department for Education has published clear and comprehensive guidance to help those working with and in schools to better understand legal duties on political impartiality.  The guidance can be found here:  (handout attached)

Emergency incidents should be reported to the police via Call 999 if you are reporting a crime that is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.

Reporting non-emergencies can be done through Report crimes online or by calling 101 if they are not an emergency.

Reporting terrorist activity can be reported through  999 or the police anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 to report an immediate terrorist threat |  report a possible terrorist threat online.

Some blogs and articles which you may find helpful in your dialogues with children and young people.

Support to explain the difficult concepts associated with current events – news delivery designed for children and young people and provided by Newsround.


Advice for children and young people if they are upset by the news – provided by Newsround.


Place2Be - Talking to children and young people about war and conflict.

Guardian article from February 2022 which was related to the Ukraine war.

‘A delicate balance’: experts’ tips on dealing with Ukraine anxiety in children | Children | The Guardian

Further Resources 

Particularly in relation to the conflict, and any antisemitic or anti-Muslim incidents emanating as a result of this, you may find the below links useful:

We know that you are working tirelessly to ensure that your schools and colleges remain calm, safe and supportive environments, where everyone can thrive in safety and respect. Thank you.