The Prevent Duty
From July 1st 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” This duty is known as the PREVENT Duty For Schools.
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. All our staff receive training and updates on what Prevent is about and how to deal with any issues they may see inside or outside school.
We are a Community school and a Rights Respecting School. We believe that our children should be given the opportunity to explore the issues of diversity and understand Britain as a multi-cultural society. Providing a safe learning environment in which children can ask questions and talk about concerns in a safe, non judgemental, supportive environment will encourage our children to have an open, well informed and tolerant attitude to multicultural and race issues.
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy. Much of this work is covered through the school Safeguarding curriculum, SEAL and PSHEE – building pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling our pupils to challenge extremist views. These include:
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Developing thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
Prevent and British values
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.
British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Age appropriate learning
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. Any discussions including vocabulary used will be suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremist ideas.