Prevent strategy in education

Since 1July 2015, a wide range of public-facing bodies, including all schools and colleges, have been subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

In the exercise of their functions, they are required to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". This is known as 'Prevent duty'.

This statutory duty applies to those authorities specified in Schedule 6 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which includes:

  • maintained schools
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent schools (including academies and free schools)
  • alternative provision academies
  • pupil referral units
  • registered childcare providers and nurseries
  • other commissioned partners

Prevent strategy

Prevent is part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy and aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Prevent works at the pre-criminal stage by using early intervention to encourage individuals and communities to challenge extremist and terrorist ideology and behaviour.

The Prevent strategy makes clear the important role that educational institutions have to play in achieving these aims. It is an extension of the same safeguarding processes which the education sector already employs in order to effectively safeguard children from drugs, gang violence, alcohol abuse, and other forms of harm and crime.

The pages on this site provide local educational institutions with helpful resources and information they might need to carry out their statutory duty and in meeting their non-legal responsibilities.

These tools may also support them in promoting British values and in meeting Ofsted’s inspection frameworks, which set out current expectations on schools to have an appropriate response to preventing extremism.

Last updated: 30 July 2019