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Prevent

This is statutory guidance for England and Wales, issued on 7 September 2023 under Section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. It came into force on 31 December 2023, replacing the 2015 guidance which came into force in July 2015.

The Prevent duty requires specified authorities such as education, health, local authorities, police and criminal justice agencies (prisons and probation) to help prevent the risk of people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It sits alongside long-established safeguarding duties on professionals to protect people from a range of other harms, such as substance abuse, involvement in gangs, and physical and sexual exploitation. The duty helps to ensure that people who are susceptible to radicalisation are supported as they would be under safeguarding processes.

What is the Prevent strategy?

Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.

The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.

How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?

From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.

This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from other dangers.

Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.

What does this mean in practice?

Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.

These include:

  • Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
  • Challenging prejudices and racist comments
  • Developing critical 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.

Parents' Resources - Educate Against Hate

Springfield & The Meadows Prevent Risk Assessment

GOV.UK Prevent duty guidance: England and Wales (2023)

Act Early: Prevent Radicalisation and Extremism by Acting Early