The new FE Prevent duty guidance document become statutory on 21st September so the Duty is now law. All FE providers, college, private or adult education now have a clear legal obligation to prevent extremism in their organisations and to protect their students from exploitation by extremists. The Duty applies to all providers and to all areas, not just the big cities.
Colleges, ILPs and ACL providers will all be aware of the high profile of the Prevent Duty. This may be because in the North East of England Liam Lyburd was recently convicted of planning mass murder at his local college or because families and young men and women are travelling abroad to join extremist organisations.
The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) recognise what a challenge the Duty is for providers. To comply with it, one requirement is that board members, staff and volunteers are Prevent duty trained. The Foundation has developed a suite of four free online training modules, tailored to the needs of leaders and managers, practitioners, support staff and governors or board members. These present the Prevent duty in various FE contexts with case studies. They cover different groups of staff including facilities staff, librarians and practitioners.
Reaction has been excellent. Nearly 8000 individuals have accessed the training from over 600 institutions.
The materials are flexible, accessible, and derived from work with the sector. They deal with the broad scope of the Prevent duty, including who needs to comply, policies and procedures. The modules provide an insight into how to implement British values into practice and how to exemplify British values which include compliance with the Equality Act 2010. They give examples of how British values can be integrated into curriculum areas and what is expected in terms of staff, governor, board member and volunteer behaviour.
It is often difficult to get staff, governors or board members together for training sessions, which is why the training is provided free and online. Staff, governors and board members can use the materials wherever they have access to the internet and at a time which is appropriate for them. This gives a flexibility which many providers appreciate.
The feedback on the modules has been very positive. Angie O'Neil head of Wirral adult education service said: "It's a great resource – really straightforward, informative and easy to navigate. The modules and the resources available are really helpful for all staff to understand what is meant by Prevent and how this understanding can be applied and integrated into wider service practice – in particular teaching, learning and assessment."
The Foundation are aware that it is very time consuming for colleges, ILPs and ACL providers to collect the certificates for everyone who has completed the modules. Therefore in addition we offer a paid-for service, the Provider Access System, which allows provider to upload the details of all those who need to take the modules and to monitor their progress.
Joanne Boulton, head of HR at New College Nottingham has already purchased PAS licences and has recommended the Provider Access System to a neighbouring college. She said, "In short we got set up and assigned training to our full management team and governing body within 24 hours of enquiry! All very simple and straightforward."
The cost of the licences varies between £250 and £850 depending on the number of licences your organisation needs to buy. If you are interested in finding out more about the provider access system then go to: http://www.preventforfeandtraining.org.uk/prevent-online-training-modules-provider-access-system-pas
We are confident that free online training modules and the Provider Access System will make it much easier for colleges, ILPs and ACL providers to Prevent duty train their staff, volunteers and governors or board members. We plan to continue to develop Prevent duty support for the sector in the form of face to face training sessions for Safeguarding officers and a consultancy offer to provider face to face support for providers. See the Prevent for FE and Training website for further information.
Selina Stewart is Education and Training Foundation's lead on Prevent