The Prevent duty is the duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 on specified authorities, which from 1 July 2015 includes all schools. We must abide by the statutory guidance to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
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.
Schools and childcare providers can also build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues. On the contrary, schools should provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments. For early years childcare providers, the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets standards for learning, development and care for children from 0-5, thereby assisting their personal, social and emotional development and understanding of the world.
The staff and some of the governors recently attended an information session led by Detective Constable Lee Ross, the local Prevent Lead. This was very useful in us understanding our role and how we can be active in ensuring the safety of our children.
What to do if you have a concern
If a member of staff or a parent has a concern about a particular pupil they should follow the academy’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the academy’s designated safeguarding lead, Anna Cvijetic, and where deemed necessary, with children’s social care.
You can also contact your local police force or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to you in confidence about your concerns and help you gain access to support and advice.
The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident, in which case the normal emergency procedures should be followed.