Education up-date: The Prevent Duty

As you will be aware, from 1 July 2015, all schools are under a duty to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” - the Prevent duty. This duty is consistent with the revised Ofsted framework which comes into effect from 1 September 2015 and refers to having “safeguarding arrangements to promote pupils’ welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism”. For full details please see the latest DfE Guidance.

Having considered the guidance, it is clear that as a minimum schools will be expected to ensure that the Designated Safe guarding Lead undertakes Prevent awareness training and is able to provide advice and support to other members of staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation. Schools are being asked to demonstrate that they have a general understanding of the risks of radicalisation and a specific understanding of how to identify children who are at risk and what the school can do to support them.

Below is a list of practical steps your school could consider taking:

  • Including procedures for dealing with the Prevent duty in existing safeguarding policies;
  • Requiring staff (or certain staff) to undertake on-line training—link to the training referred to in the guidance;
  • Ensuring suitable filtering is in place for pupils accessing the internet;
  • Providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making, perhaps through PSHE and/or Citizenship.

The DfE have also published a briefing note entitled the-use-of-social-media-for-online-radicalisation which you may wish to pass onto your staff.If you have any questions relating to the Prevent duty or any other matter, please feel free to call James Twine on 01752 292351.

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