EuropeHuman Rights

Schoking: UK proposes nursery staff to spy on toddlers terrorism tendency

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The British government has put forward a proposal urging nursery school staff and registered childminders to report the toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, a plan which critics have deemed “unworkable.”

The proposal, issued by the Home Office and included in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, is currently before the parliament, the Guardian reported on Sunday.

The proposed measure states that British nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, have a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.”

This is while critics regard the proposal as “unworkable,” accusing the Tory-led Coalition government of treating teachers and carers as “spies.” They have also raised concerns over the practicalities of making it a legal requirement for staff to report toddlers.

Isabella Sankey, the policy director at human rights body Liberty, commented on the proposal, saying, “Turning our teachers and childminders into an army of involuntary spies will not stop the terrorist threat.”
Such a move “will sow seeds of mistrust, division and alienation from an early age,” she added.

Headteachers’ union NAHT also criticized the plans, with its General Secretary Russel Hobby saying nursery and school staff should not be required to act as a police service.

A Home office spokesman, however, defended the proposed measure, arguing “it is important that children are taught fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way” and “we do expect them (staff) to take action when they observe behavior of concern.”

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