Global events, and the online tools now available have allowed the extreme right to become mainstream. Their imagery, terms and groups are being pumped into households every day. We live in a time of the greatest ever ease of access to extreme material. No longer does a teenager have to pluck up the courage to head to a far-right meeting in the back of some seedy pub, far-right content is available in their pocket via their phone. 

We are not just talking about actively seeking out this content, like Googling for books that promote terrorist activities – the algorithms on social media sites can inadvertently lead a pupil from researching homework on WW2 to a bogus video about Holocaust denial to antisemitism to extremist material that signals them to check out dangerous channels on Telegram.

Their hate-filled graphics and memes are well-made and alluring to people at risk of radicalisation. Young people see more of this vile content, and increasingly, some are drawn in.

Unfortunately, the training that the majority of teachers receive in this area of safeguarding is very out of date. We are now at a stage where a pupil could be radicalising their friends in a classroom without the teacher even being aware. Much of this challenge is down to the fact that terminology radicalised young people are using is too alien for teachers to pick up.

I have seen this myself when teaching in schools, and I hear it from the teachers we work with all the time. HOPE not hate has the best insight into the UK far-right. Our research has led to neo-nazi murder plots being uncovered (National Action), phoney community groups peddling racist politics (Thurnby Lodge, Leicester) and much much more.  

We understand them better than any other organisation, so we decided to put that expertise into the hands of teachers. We want to give those on the frontline in the education sector access to our knowledge so that they are best equipped to deal with this challenge if it raises its head in their school.

That’s why we’re publishing ‘Signs of Hate’, a resource for teachers, and other public sector workers, to learn about and develop the skills on spotting far right terms, symbols and codes. Our hope is that this resource will arm teachers with the understanding needed to make early and effective interventions. We’re posting a copy of this book to every school in England and Wales. If your school is interested in learning more you can contact me here. You can also buy extra copies of the book here

This project is possible because of the support of our members. Members give a small amount each month - from £3 and up - to sustain our work. Because thousands of people have joined us, we’re able to offer this support to schools free of charge. If you’re a member, thank you. If you’d like to join and help us, click here

Owen Jones is Director of Educaiton and Training at HNHCT