* Joanna Rossiter
* Children & Young People Now www.cypnow.co.uk
Schools Secretary Ed Balls has announced a new toolkit for schools to tackle the messages of violent extremism.
The Learning Together to be Safe pack will guide schools in building mutual respect and understanding amongst pupils.
The Department for Children Schools and Families has launched the toolkit in response to calls from teaching staff for guidance about preventing extremist views.
£4.68m will be assigned to local authorities so that they can provide customised support for schools. A Watch Over Me DVD will also be produced and used in schools to explore controversial issues with pupils.
Ed Balls said: "We need to address the underlying issues that can drive people into the hands of violent extremist groups and encourage local communities to come together to expose the flaws in extremists' arguments, to reject cruelty and violence and promote our core British values of tolerance, liberty, fairness and respect of the rule of law."
Balls referred to a report by the UK Youth Parliament, which claimed that 94 per cent of young people think schools are the best environment to discuss preventing extremism.
He concluded: "Young people are already very much alive to these problems and are keen for the opportunity to express their views and air their concerns."