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Prevent Duty Updates

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What educators need to know

The Government has implemented updated Prevent Duty guidance, effective December 31st, 2023, following comprehensive review and public consultation. The updates enhance the focus on tackling the ideological causes of terrorism while safeguarding vulnerable individuals and communities.

Prevent’s primary objective is to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The updated guidance strengthens our ability to identify and address early signs of radicalisation, empowering frontline professionals with practical tools and clear procedures.

As explained in Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales, “Children and young people continue to make up a significant proportion of Channel cases, and in recent years there have been concerns regarding increased numbers of learners being arrested for terrorism-related offences. Educators are often in a unique position, through interacting with learners on a regular basis, to be able to identify concerning behaviour changes that may indicate they are susceptible to radicalisation.”

Education settings play a crucial role in preventative efforts. The updated guidance (a briefing for schools and early years providers) provides greater clarity and practical advice for educators, focusing on early identification of concerning behaviour changes, nurturing critical thinking skills, and promoting inclusive values.

Strengthened focus on ideology: The updated guidance clarifies that Prevent’s core mission is to tackle the ideological underpinnings of terrorism, promoting critical thinking and resilience against harmful narratives.

Enhanced support for children and young people: Recognising their increased vulnerability, the guidance offers specific measures to safeguard children and young people through tailored interventions and risk assessments.

Improved training and resource provision: Frontline professionals, including educators, healthcare workers, and law enforcement officers, will receive enhanced training and access to expert resources to effectively identify and report potential concerns.

Streamlined risk management: The guidance simplifies risk assessment and referral processes, ensuring timely and appropriate action while safeguarding individuals from intrusive or discriminatory practices.

Effective information sharing: Secure and collaborative information sharing mechanisms are emphasised to facilitate coordinated interventions and support across different sectors.

“Educators often witness subtle shifts in behaviour that can signal vulnerability to radicalisation,” said Daisy Cave, SLT Segment Lead at Twinkl and experienced Primary School Teacher, Senior Leader and Headteacher . “The updated guidance equips them with the knowledge and confidence to address these concerns constructively, supporting individual students while contributing to wider community safety.”

For more information on the Prevent Duty updates, please visit Prevent Duty in Schools: an Overview and Quick Look: Prevent Duty Guidance 2023.

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