From education to employment

Providers must engage fully with Prevent, Ofsted warns

Ofsted have given clear warning that in the next academic year, all providers will need to engage fully with the Prevent duty. 

In their recent report, Ofsted used findings from 37 further education and skills providers, combined with findings from 46 full inspections or monitoring visits between November 2015 and May 2016.  Perhaps, in this developmental year, it is not surprising that not all providers were found to be sufficiently engaged with their responsibilities.  Some had done very little and others, through a tick box exercise, appeared not to have done enough to be effective.   Prevent is a legal duty and Ofsted are clear that not just compliance but full engagement will be considered in future inspections.

The Education and Training Foundation has been supporting all parts of the sector including colleges, ILPs and adult and community providers with the Prevent duty since April 2015.  Firstly through our Prevent for FE and training website which provides information and resources.  Subsequently 103,000 people have enrolled on our free online awareness raising modules, we have trained 1,800 staff face to face, and we offer broader consultancy.

The top three misconceptions I find in providers about Prevent:

  1. The Prevent duty is intended to stop discussion of controversial issues
  2. The Prevent duty is “all about Muslims”
  3. British values suggest that these values only exist in the UK

The top three key things I find when training:

  1. Staff want support in identifying opportunities to exemplify British values
  2. Staff don’t mind the content of the British values definition even if they are not keen on the term itself
  3. Staff want training and support in challenging extremist and hate speech

We recognise that the Prevent duty is part of the Safeguarding responsibility which all providers have; however there are additional training needs to give staff an awareness of vulnerabilities.

ETF’s free online training modules provide role-focussed awareness raising for all staff and board members but we support the Ofsted comments that this should not be the full package of training.  All staff and board members should also take part in face to face training.  This may be provided in-house by Safeguarding staff who have sufficient expertise or it may be provided by external organisations like ETF. 

AELP have highlighted a concern that the whole responsibility for the Prevent duty cannot be held by provider organisations and that employers also need to understand their role. ETF accepted this and we have developed a new series of four training modules which include one for employers. Obviously we would also encourage providers to supplement this with face to face training.  The employer training modules one of eight free training modules for:

Governors and board members


Support staff

Support staff who require an easy read version


Subcontractors not engaged directly in educational provision eg catering staff

And host families

These modules as well as guidance, policies and materials in use across the sector can all be accessed at the Prevent for FE and training website.

ETF can also run in house sessions to train staff in the Prevent duty including finding opportunities to exemplify and promote British values and also runs open access courses for Safeguarding officers and curriculum leaders.  If further information please go to the Prevent for FE and training website or email [email protected]

Selina Stewart is the Education and Training Foundation lead on Prevent

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