Prevent Duty and British Values
From 1 July 2015 all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers (referred to in this advice as childcare providers) are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. It applies to a wide range of public-facing bodies. Bodies to which the duty applies must have regard to the statutory guidance. Paragraphs 57-76 of the guidance are concerned specifically with schools and childcare providers.
This advice complements the statutory guidance and refers to other relevant guidance and advice. It is intended to help schools and childcare providers think about what they can do to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and suggests how they can access support to do this. It reflects actions that many schools and childcare providers will already be taking to protect children from this risk.
The Prevent duty: what it means for schools and childcare providers
In order for schools and childcare providers to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools and childcare providers wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences.
Schools and childcare providers can also build pupils resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues. On the contrary, schools should provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments. For early years childcare providers, the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets standards for learning, development and care for children from 0-5, thereby assisting their personal, social and emotional development and understanding of the world.
The Prevent duty is entirely consistent with schools and childcare providers existing responsibilities and should not be burdensome. Ofsted’s revised common inspection framework for education, skills and early years, which comes into effect from 1 September 2015, makes specific reference to the need to have safeguarding arrangements to promote pupils’ welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism. The associated handbooks for inspectors set out the expectations for different settings. The common inspection framework and handbooks are available on GOV.UK.
The statutory guidance on the Prevent duty summarises the requirements on schools and childcare providers in terms of four general themes: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies. This advice focuses on those four themes.
The statutory guidance makes clear that schools and childcare providers are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. This means being able to demonstrate both a general understanding of the risks affecting children and young people in the area and a specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them.
The general risks affecting children and young people may vary from area to area, and according to their age. Schools and childcare providers are in an important position to identify risks within a given local context. It is important that schools and childcare providers understand these risks so that they can respond in an appropriate and proportionate way. At the same time schools and childcare providers should be aware of the increased risk of online radicalisation, as terrorist organisations such as ISIL seek to radicalise young people through the use of social media and the internet. The local authority and local police will be able to provide contextual information to help schools and childcare providers understand the risks in their areas.
There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to a terrorist ideology. As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Children at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or seek to hide their views. School staff should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately.
Even very young children may be vulnerable to radicalisation by others, whether in the family or outside, and display concerning behaviour. The Prevent duty does not require teachers or childcare providers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but as with any other safeguarding risk, they must take action when they observe behaviour of concern.
Schools and childcare providers should have clear procedures in place for protecting children at risk of radicalisation. These procedures may be set out in existing safeguarding policies. It is not necessary for schools and childcare settings to have distinct policies on implementing the Prevent duty. General safeguarding principles apply to keeping children safe from the risk of radicalisation as set out in the relevant statutory guidance, Working together to safeguard children and Keeping children safe in education.
School staff and childcare providers should understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the Channel programme. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages. Detailed guidance on Channel is available.
An online general awareness training module on Channel is available. The module is suitable for school staff and other front-line workers. It provides an introduction to the topics covered by this advice, including how to identify factors that can make people vulnerable to radicalisation, and case studies illustrating the types of intervention that may be appropriate, in addition to Channel.
Working in partnership
The Prevent duty builds on existing local partnership arrangements. Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are responsible for co-ordinating what is done by local agencies for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in their local area. Safeguarding arrangements should already take into account the policies and procedures of the LSCB. For example, LSCBs publish threshold guidance indicating when a child or young person might be referred for support.
Local authorities are vital to all aspects of Prevent work. In some priority local authority areas, Home Office fund dedicated Prevent co-ordinators to work with communities and organisations, including schools. Other partners, in particular the police and also civil society organisations, may be able to provide advice and support to schools on implementing the duty.
Effective engagement with parents / the family is also important as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation. It is important to assist and advise families who raise concerns and be able to point them to the right support mechanisms.
The statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. The Home Office has developed a core training product for this purpose – Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP). There are a number of professionals – particularly in safeguarding roles - working within Local Authorities, the Police, Health and Higher and Further Education who are accredited WRAP trained facilitators. We are working to build capacity within the system to deliver training.
Individual schools and childcare providers are best placed to assess their training needs in the light of their assessment of the risk. As a minimum, however, schools should ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead undertakes Prevent awareness training and is able to provide advice and support to other members of staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation. We recognise that it can be more difficult for many childcare providers, such as childminders, to attend training and we are considering other ways in which they can increase their awareness and be able to demonstrate that. This advice is one way of raising childcare providers’ awareness.
The statutory guidance makes clear the need for schools to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. Schools should ensure that suitable filtering is in place.
More generally, schools have an important role to play in equipping children and young people to stay safe online, both in school and outside. Internet safety will usually be integral to a school‟s ICT curriculum and can also be embedded in PSHE and SRE. General advice and resources for schools on internet safety are available on the UK Safer Internet Centre website.
As with other online risks of harm, every teacher needs to be aware of the risks posed by the online activity of extremist and terrorist groups.
Building children’s resilience to radicalisation
As explained above, schools can build pupils‟ resilience to radicalisation by providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. Schools are already expected to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and, within this, fundamental British values. Advice on promoting fundamental British values in schools is available.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) can be an effective way of providing pupils with time to explore sensitive or controversial issues, and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to understand and manage difficult situations. The subject can be used to teach pupils to recognise and manage risk, make safer choices, and recognise when pressure from others threatens their personal safety and wellbeing. They can also develop effective ways of resisting pressures, including knowing when, where and how to get help. Schools can encourage pupils to develop positive character traits through PSHE, such as resilience, determination, self-esteem, and confidence.
Citizenship helps to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. It should equip pupils to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, to debate, and to make reasoned arguments. In Citizenship, pupils learn about democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Pupils are also taught about the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding. A number of resources are available to support schools in this work. These include products aimed at giving teachers the confidence to manage debates about contentious issues and to help them develop their pupils‟ critical thinking skills. Local authorities and the local police may be able to advise on the resources which are available. In some cases these resources may be charged for, particularly where they are delivered by external facilitators. As with any other resources for use in the classroom, schools should satisfy themselves that they are suitable for pupils (for example in terms of their age appropriateness) and that staff have the knowledge and confidence to use the resources effectively. For childcare providers our strategic partner, 4Children, have published the following good practice examples demonstrating what promoting fundamental British Values means in the early years.
What to do if you have a concern
As explained above, if a member of staff in a school has a concern about a particular pupil they should follow the school’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the school’s designated safeguarding lead, and where deemed necessary, with children’s social care. In Prevent priority areas, the local authority will have a Prevent lead who can also provide support.
You can also contact your local police force or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to you in confidence about your concerns and help you gain access to support and advice.
The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident, in which case the normal emergency procedures should be followed.
Staff can access training by visiting and clicking on Prevent training.
Appendix to Safeguarding Policy The Prevent Duty & Promoting British Values
From 1st July 2015 all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. Here at Little Rockets Childcare we take Safeguarding very seriously, therefore to ensure that we adhere to and achieve the Prevent duty we will;
● Provide appropriate training for staff as soon as possible. Part of this training will enable staff to identify children who may be at risk of radicalisation
● We will build the children’s resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views (for early years providers the statutory framework for the EYFS sets standards for learning, development and care for children from 0-5, thereby assisting their personal, social and emotional development and understanding of the world)
● We will assess the risk, by means of a formal risk assessment, of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology
● We will ensure that our staff understand the risks so that they can respond in an appropriate and proportionate way
● We will be aware of the online risk of radicalisation through the use of social media and the internet
● As with managing other safeguarding risks, our staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection (children at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or seek to hide their views). The Key Person approach means we already know our key children well and so we will notice any changes in behaviour, demeanour or personality quickly
● We will not carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but we will take action when we observe behaviour of concern. The key person approach means that we already have a rapport with our families so we will notice any changes in behaviour, demeanour or personality quickly
● We will work in partnership with our local authority for guidance and support
● We will build up an effective engagement with parents/carers and families. (This is important as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation)
● We will assist and advise families who raise concerns with us. It is important to assist and advise families who raise concerns and be able to point them to the right support mechanisms.
● We will ensure that our Managers will undertake Prevent awareness training (as a minimum) so that they can offer advice and support to other members of staff.
● We will ensure that any resources used in the nursery are age appropriate for the children in our care and that our staff have the knowledge and confidence to use the resources effectively
We actively promote inclusion, equality of opportunity, the valuing of diversity and British values.
Under the Equality Act 2010, which underpins standards of behaviour and incorporates both British and universal values, we have a legal obligation not to directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise those with protected characteristics. We make reasonable adjustments to procedures, criteria and practices to ensure that those with protected characteristics are not at a substantial disadvantage. As we are in receipt of public funding we also have a public sector equality duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, foster good relations and publish information to show compliance with the duty.
Social and emotional development is shaped by early experiences and relationships and incorporates elements of equality and British and universal values. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) supports children’s earliest skills so that they can become social citizens in an age-appropriate way, that is, so that they are able to listen and attend to instructions; know the difference between right and wrong; recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others; make and maintain friendships; develop empathy and consideration of other people; take turns in play and conversation; avoid risk and take notice of rules and boundaries; learn not to hurt/upset other people with words and actions; understand the consequences of hurtful/discriminatory behaviour.
The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the 2014 EYFS and are further clarified below, based on the Fundamental British Values in the Early Years guidance (Foundation Years 2015):
Democracy, or making decisions together (through the prime area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development)
- As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness, practitioners encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging them to know that their views count, to value each other’s views and values, and talk about their feelings, for example, recognising when they do or do not need help.
- Practitioners support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children are given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
Rule of law, or understanding that rules matter (through the prime area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development)
- Practitioners ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequence.
- Practitioners collaborate with children to create rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, the rules about tidying up, and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.
Individual liberty, or freedom for all (through the prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and Understanding the World)
- Children should develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours, talking about their experiences and learning.
- Practitioners encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example discussing in a small group what they feel about transferring into Reception Class.
Mutual respect and tolerance, or treating others as you want to be treated (through the prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and Understanding the World)
- Practitioners create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
- Children should acquire tolerance, appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions.
- Practitioners encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions.
- Practitioners promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural or racial stereotyping.
In Little Rockets it is not acceptable to:
- actively promote intolerance of other faiths, cultures and races
- fail to challenge gender stereotypes and routinely segregate girls and boys
- isolate children from their wider community
- fail to challenge behaviours (whether of staff, children or parents) that are not in line with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs
Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we also have a duty “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”
Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
Equality Act 2010: Public Sector Equality Duty - What Do I Need to Know? A Quick Start Guide for Public Sector Organisations (Government Equalities Office 2011)
Fundamental British Values in the Early Years (Foundation Years 2015)
Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales (HMG 2015)
The Prevent Duty: Departmental Advice for Schools and Childcare Providers (DfE 2015)