The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 creates a statutory duty for specified public authorities to "have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". Prevent is one of four strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, and aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Universities became subject to the new Prevent duty on 18th September 2015, with HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) given responsibility for assessing how they meet the requirements under the new duty.
The government’s Prevent Duty guidance states that relevant higher education institutions need to balance their legal duties in terms of both freedom of speech and academic freedom, whilst also protecting student and staff welfare. The approach at Central is cognisant of those duties and will be focused overwhelmingly on student and staff welfare.
Central has established a Prevent Panel (a sub-group of the Executive Management Group), chaired by the Academic Registrar and Director of Academic Services, which ensures that due regard is given to this statutory responsibility.
HEFCE’s monitoring framework was published in November 2015. Section 10 notes that universities are:
"responsible for assessing Prevent-related risks in their own context and deciding on appropriate and proportionate actions in response to their assessment of those risks. HEFCE will assess whether the action plans, policies and processes set out by each university take account of the topics covered in both sets of statutory guidance and are sufficient to respond to the issues identified in their own risk assessments."
As required by the framework, Central has submitted to HEFCE a preliminary self-assessment on its state of preparedness and has then followed up with detailed information to show that we have established appropriate arrangements to implement the Prevent Duty in line with the statutory guidance.
If you have concerns that a student or member of staff is being drawn into terrorism, please contact the Academic Registrar and Director of Academic Services.