Following on from our previous Article 'Counter-Terrorism and Security Act: The Prevention Duty', under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act schools, alongside other public bodies, have a general duty to "have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" since 1st July 2015. This means "having regard" to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State. The statutory guidance is now available here.
Paragraphs 57-76 of the statutory guidance provide express guidance for schools and colleges and emphasises the need for a broad and balanced curriculum with a focus on British values and social cohesion. It makes it clear that the prevent policy should be viewed as a key part of safeguarding and working in partnership with other authorities. It also highlights the importance of training and appropriate IT policies.
In addition, the Government has provided some non-statutory guidance specifically for schools which is available here.
The guidance explains that in order for schools and childcare providers to fulfil the prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ and childcare providers’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences. This guidance further emphasises training, working in partnership and having appropriate risk assessment of children.
As an additional resource for schools the Government has also launched a new website which contains resources for parents, schools and teachers. The website provides practical guidance and a range of links which will assist everyone involved in education to fulfil their prevent duties.