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PREVENT Duty - Extremism and Radicalisation

Page last updated: 10/01/2024

All Education settings should have a clear approach to implementing the Prevent duty and keeping children safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism. The below information, guidance and training will support settings to fulfil this duty. 

In this section:   

  1. PREVENT explanation and definitions

  2. PREVENT training and guidance

  3. PREVENT in Essex

  4. Responding to PREVENT concerns

  5. Useful organisations and websites

1. Prevent Explanation and Definitions

PREVENT - Prevent is part of the UK's Counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST. The purpose of Prevent is to safeguard and support vulnerable people to stop them from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, as well as support the rehabilitation and disengagement of those already involved in terrorism. An explanation of PREVENT can found on pages 29-32 of CONTEST.

Prevent Duty - Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (HMG, 2015) placed a duty on settings that they must, in the exercise of their functions, have 'due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'. This is known as the 'Prevent Duty'.

​Channel Panel - Channel is a national programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to individuals identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. Further information can be found within Channel and Prevent Multi-Agency Panel (PMAP) guidance (Home Office, 2021)  

Key vocabulary definitions 

  • Extremism - the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

  • Radicalisation - refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups

  • Terrorism - action that endangers / causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes with / disrupts an electronic system. Further information can be found within the Terrorism Act 2000 (legislation.gov.uk) 

2. Prevent training and guidance

Key documents

​The Designated Safeguarding Lead should be familiar with the below key documents as they set out the responsibilities that settings have regarding PREVENT:  

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2023) - reinforces the PREVENT duty and sets out that, similar to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse, protecting children from radicalisation should be seen as part of the setting's wider safeguarding duties. Specific PREVENT guidance can be found under 'Preventing radicalisation' on pages 149 – 152

The documents below contain guidance to support settings in relation to the PREVENT Duty:

​Training

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2023) states that all staff should receive training to ensure they are aware of PREVENT and can identify radicalisation risk factors in CYP. It also specifies that the DSL should undertake Prevent awareness training. 

Gov.uk has commissioned Prevent Duty Training. The training includes 4 sub-courses: 

​The Education Safeguarding Team have produced a Level 2 PREVENT PowerPoint for all setting staff, which introduces PREVENT in Essex. It is available on the Safeguarding Training Page.

3. Prevent in Essex

The Prevent duty: an introduction for those with safeguarding responsibilities states that Designated Safeguarding Leads should be aware of the PREVENT process in their Local Authority. The information below summarises PREVENT in Essex for education settings: 

  • ​The Education Lead for Prevent in Essex is Jo Barclay, Head of Education Safeguarding and Wellbeing

  • Information about the local risk and threats in Essex are disseminated to Headteachers and DSLs via the Safeguarding Forums run by the Education Safeguarding Team. The forums can be booked using the Education Essex Online Booking System and presentations from previous forums can be found on the Safeguarding Briefings and Forums page of the ESI

  • The Essex SET Prevent policy and guidance provides an overview of PREVENT in Essex, as decided by the Prevent Delivery Group. This is a multi-agency Board with strategic oversight of Prevent in Essex which provides direction and co-ordination of the agencies that deliver on the Prevent agenda. The Education Prevent Lead attends the strategic group to represent Education

  • The multi-agency Channel Panel in Essex meets on a monthly basis. It is attended by the Education Lead along with senior managers from other key agencies

  • The Essex Police Prevent Team can be contacted via their website

4. Responding to PREVENT concern​s

If a setting has concerns about radicalisation or extremism, or if they feel a child is at risk of (or subject to) harm because of these issues, they should contact the Children and Families Hub in the first instance – as for any other safeguarding concern. 

If the Children and Families Hub feel there is a Prevent issue, they will signpost the setting to the Essex Police Prevent Team to seek advice and guidance.  This team may then advise the setting to make a PREVENT referral using this referral form.  

Settings are also able to discuss Prevent concerns with the Essex Police Prevent team: telephone 01245 452 196 / email prevent@essex.police.uk.

​Individuals who have been referred to PREVENT may be considered at a Channel Panel meeting where the panel will decide whether to adopt the case. For support completing a PREVENT referral form, the DfE have produced guidance on Making a referral to Prevent.

5. Useful organisations and websites

For advice and guidance on PREVENT concerns, settings are also able to the national police Prevent advice line 0800 011 3764, in confidence, to share your concerns with specially trained officers.

​Alternatively, the Department for Education has a counter-extremism helpline. You can call them for advice on 020 7340 7264 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).​