What Do I Need To Know? Updates to the Prevent Duty Guidance for Schools

prevent duty

The Home Office has recently released updates to the Prevent duty guidance, which will be effective from December 31, 2023. While there are no new legal responsibilities for schools, there are some clarifications and emphasis on existing duties that schools need to be aware of. Here’s a comprehensive outline of the updates.

 

Introduction

With the ever-evolving landscape of safety and security, it’s essential for schools to be aware of their responsibilities in preventing radicalisation and promoting fundamental British values. The recent updates by the Home Office aim to provide more clarity on how schools should handle these responsibilities.

 

Key Highlights:

Designating a Prevent Lead:

Schools should appoint a dedicated individual to oversee the Prevent duty. This person should ideally be in a leadership position.
While the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) might already be fulfilling this role, the Prevent lead should receive specialized training, especially on extremist and terrorist ideologies.

Clarification on Sharing Personal Information:

If there’s a need to share personal data of a pupil susceptible to radicalisation, your school can do so without the individual’s consent, provided there’s a lawful basis.
Similarly, information can be shared about someone susceptible to radicalisation without the consent of parents or guardians. However, the sharing should be treated like any other safeguarding issue.

It’s crucial to remember that schools must still comply with standard data protection laws.

Ongoing Responsibilities:

Schools should continue to:

  • Consider the risk of pupils being lured into terrorism.
  • Promote fundamental British values.
  • Maintain a safe environment for students.
  • Adhere to safeguarding procedures for reporting concerns

Furthermore, schools should:

  • Integrate the Prevent duty into their existing policies.
  • Safeguard pupils online.
    Collaborate with agencies and parents.
  • Train staff on the Prevent duty.

 

No Need for a Separate Prevent Policy:

Schools are not required to have a stand-alone Prevent policy. Instead, they should incorporate Prevent guidelines into their existing policies and practices.

 

Concluding Thoughts:

The essence of the Prevent duty guidance is to ensure the safety and well-being of students, preventing them from being drawn into radical ideologies. While the recent updates do not introduce new legal responsibilities, they provide schools with more clarity and direction. As stakeholders, we should all strive to keep our schools safe, promoting values of democracy, individual liberty, and mutual respect.

You can view the latest version of the guidance from the Home Office here

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