Institute of Education


Teachers and pupils join a virtual summit about 9/11 and countering extremism

10 December 2020

Education charity SINCE 9/11 and UCL Institute of Education (IOE) today host an online summit for thousands of secondary school students around the country to drive awareness of 9/11 and counter extremism.

Flower placed on 9/11 memorial

The Virtual Student Summit features a host of expert speakers – from a relative of a victim of the attacks, to leading educators on countering extremism – and provides opportunities for students to ask live questions.

The speakers include Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism; Sir Simon Schama CBE, Historian and SINCE 9/11 Patron; Professor Martin Mills (Director of the IOE’s Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research); Jeremy Hayward (IOE); and Nicky Napier, sharing her personal experience of the 9/11 attacks.

The Virtual Student Summit is open to all secondary schools across the country to attend. Teachers who participate will also be invited to take part in a ground-breaking piece of research being carried out by the IOE focusing on the role of schools in supporting young people to challenge ideas perpetrated by extremist or violent movements, and on the resources required by teachers to address issues of extremism and radicalisation.

As no child in school today was born when the 9/11 attacks took place, SINCE 9/11 aims to reinvigorate education around the atrocities of terror attacks since 2001.

Professor Martin Mills, Co-Director of the Keeping Young People Safe In Schools research project funded by SINCE 9/11, said: “Terrorism takes many forms, it can happen in people’s homes, their local streets and communities, it can be exercised by people acting alone or as part of an organised group, and it can have at its heart various combinations of hatreds based on others’ gender, sexuality, religion, race, ethnicity and political viewpoints. However, it always has the same purpose, to deny people their right to live free from fear and oppression.

“As researchers we are interested in what schools can do and what resources teachers need in order to provide young people with the skills and knowledge to resist and challenge terrorism and extremism in all their various forms.”

Peter Rosengard, Chairman of SINCE 9/11 said: “All of us remember exactly where we were on 9/11, yet no child in school today was even born. Next year will mark 20 years since that day, but many teachers are too young to remember what happened.

“SINCE 9/11’s mission is to educate those who don’t know what the world was like before 9/11 – about the events, causes and consequences, so we can build a legacy of hope from the tragedy of that day and the terror attacks that have followed since across the world.

“Ahead of next year’s anniversary, we want to reach out to even more young people with our Virtual Student Summit to help develop their understanding of issues around radicalisation, racism, extremism and terrorism. The world changed on 9/11, and it’s so important that we understand what has happened since, and we can all work together for a better future.”