Implementing Prevent in educational institutions

The 'Prevent duty' and Ofsted Inspection Framework and Handbook all set out current expectations on schools regarding best practice for their work to prevent extremism.

1. Implementing the Prevent duty

Stage 1: Risk assessment

The first stage for any institution is to understand the local context in which it is based.  This allows it to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas. The institution’s response should be appropriate and proportionate based on this assessment. Alongside this general understanding of the risk, an institution should also be able to demonstrate a specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk.

Stage 2: Build an action plan

It is recommended that institutions develop an action plan based on this risk assessment, creating a proportionate response across a number of key areas:

  • building children’s resilience to radicalisation

Providing a safe environment for debating sensitive or controversial issues so that young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the skills and knowledge to challenge extremist arguments. This links to the promotion of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils and, within that, fundamental British values.

  • policies and procedures

Ensuring suitable IT filtering is in place and that policies are fit for purpose, e.g. visitor and hall hire policies.

  • working in partnership

For example, with Local Children’s Safeguarding Boards and local authority Prevent co-ordinators. This also includes effective engagement with parents and families.

  • safeguarding

This includes staff training and raising awareness. This should be specifically centred on how to identify people at risk of radicalisation or extremism and the safeguarding pathways they should use. Consideration should also be given to safeguarding policies and log books.

2. Ofsted Common Inspection Framework

A revised Ofsted Common Inspection Framework: Education, Skills and Early Years comes into effect from 1 September 2015.

This, along with the individual inspection frameworks, outlines expectations as to how responsibilities under the 'Prevent duty' should be mainstreamed across the schools’ functions.

Institutions are urged to refer to the original documentation, however key elements are summarised below:

Overall effectiveness

This judgment area includes expectations around the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils, with a focus on an assessment of pupils’ acceptance and engagement with fundamental British values.

Beyond this, students should also develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Effectiveness of leadership and management

This judgment area includes expectations that a school:

  • actively promotes British values
  • ensures that safeguarding arrangements to protect children, young people and learners meet all statutory and other government requirements, promote their welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism

The Safeguarding Inspection Framework includes radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour on the list of things that safeguarding action may need to be taken to protect children from. This includes staff understanding of the issues and the school’s use of additional advice and support.

Last updated: 7 September 2018