The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 created 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 reduce the threat to the UK from all forms of terrorism by stopping 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 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 is focused overwhelmingly on student and staff welfare.
The School has a Prevent risk/action plan that serves as its primary mechanism for monitoring its responsibilities and enhancing its activities in relation to the duty. The plan is supported, specifically, by two other documents: an External Speaker Policy and a Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy.
Central has also established a Prevent Panel (a sub-group of the Executive Management Group), chaired by the Academic Registrar and Director of Academic Services as the School’s Prevent duty lead, which ensures that due regard is given to this statutory responsibility.
HEFCE has a monitoring framework that sets out how it will monitor higher education providers’ implementation of the Prevent duty. In common with other institutions, Central submits a short annual report to HEFCE every year that summarises the relevant evidence which demonstrates its continuing active and effective implementation of the duty.
Further information can be found on the HEFCE website.
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.