The Prevent duty
Protecting students from the risk of radicalisation is part of schools’ overall safeguarding responsibilities.
Since July 2015, schools have a legal responsibility to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. The Prevent duty: departmental advice for schools and childcare providers offers guidance on this.
Given the rise of extremist voices it’s important that you know how to protect them from this threat. Understanding how the Prevent duty is embedded as part of your school’s wider safeguarding policies will help you to:
- Protect students from radicalising influences
- Build your students’ resilience to extremist narratives
- Identify any vulnerabilities or worrying changes in behaviour
- Know what to do if you have concerns about a student
Prevent is not about spying on students or intruding unnecessarily into their families. It’s about making sure you can identify worrying behaviour and know how to refer those students who may be at risk of radicalisation for appropriate support.
There are no mandatory reporting requirements under the Prevent duty. If you have a concern, you should follow your school’s safeguarding procedures.
There are several things you can do to increase your students’ resilience to extremist narratives, such as:
- Making sure your classroom is a safe space where students can discuss ideas and controversial issues freely and openly
- Providing skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments
- Promoting the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Here are some related resources: