What is Prevent?
Prevent is part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Its aim is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent will address all forms of terrorism but continue to prioritise according to current threat levels. It’s about minimising the risk of people supporting extremist ideologies, which espouse violence and terrorism. As such Prevent is an early intervention tool most commonly in the form of education, dialogue and mentoring, aiming to reduce the likelihood of terrorist or other violent actions in the future.
Prevent operates in the ‘non-criminal’ space; it’s a prevention tool that aims to reduce the numbers of people who may consider criminal acts. In an educational context Prevent is a safeguarding issue for schools aimed at supporting and protecting children and young people who are vulnerable and at risk of being radicalised. Prevent is about ensuring that they are diverted away before any crime is committed and described as a long-term solution to the current threat of extremism. Within the overall framework the new Prevent strategy will specifically:
- respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
- prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and
- work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.
These areas of work are outlined in detail in The Prevent Strategy para 3.21 on page 7.
New Duty for Schools 1st July 2015
Prevent duty guidance:
On 1 July 2015 the Prevent duty (section 26) of The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 comes into force. This duty places the responsibility on local authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Whilst Ofsted are undertaking the single inspections they will evaluate how effectively local authorities are meeting the Prevent duty in relation to safeguarding children.
Statutory guidance issued under section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the Act) places a duty on certain bodies (“specified authorities” listed in Schedule 6 to the Act), in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This guidance is issued under section 29 of the Act.
Bradford is one of 46 priority areas under this Act and all schools including those in early years are required to have ‘due regard’ in the exercise of its functions, to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Preventing people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism also requires challenge to extremist ideas where they are used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.
The government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces”.
Our Prevent work is intended to deal with all kinds of terrorist threats to the UK. The most significant of these threats is currently from Al Qa’ida associated groups and from other terrorist organisations in Syria and Iraq. But terrorists associated with the extreme right also pose a continued threat to our safety and security.
Proprietors of all schools should ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the local authority as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures.
Institutions will be expected to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the Internet in school.