The Prevent duty is the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on schools and childcare providers to have due regard for the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism without stifling valuable discussion that will help staff and children understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
Who is the Prevent duty guidance aimed at?
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act applies to:
- Schools and colleges
- Local authorities
- Children’s homes
- Youth services
- Independent fostering agencies
- Pastoral agencies
- Children’s groups
It should also be understood by:
- Management committees and staff in pupil referral units
- Proprietors and managers and staff in registered childcare settings.
The guidance is due to be revised in September 2016.
Why is Prevent Awareness Training important?
The statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent Awareness Training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas.
Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of your wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (for example drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation). So, as a minimum, schools should ensure that the Designated Safeguarding 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.
Prevent Awareness Training should therefore ensure that the issues around the Prevent duty are discussed in the context of regular safeguarding responsibilities.
Training helps schools and childcare providers to fulfil their legal duty to prevent children from becoming radicalised. It helps staff to:
- Understand how to identify vulnerable children and the appropriate actions that should be taken.
- Build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation.
- Comply with Ofsted’s revised common inspection framework for education, skills and early years, which came into effect from 1 September 2015 and makes specific reference to the need to have safeguarding arrangements to promote pupils’ welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism.
Prevent Awareness Training should be seen within the context of statutory guidance on the Prevent duty which details the requirements on schools and childcare providers in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies.