Prevent Training: Meeting Legislation

8th July 2015

Universities and colleges play an important role in sustaining an open, fair and equitable society. In support of this they can offer opportunities to support learners understand the risks and dangers associated with extremism and help develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremism and radicalisation.

Although it is vital that universities and colleges protect academic freedom, it is a long-established principle that colleges also have a duty of care to their students. Colleges, college societies and student groups have a clear and unambiguous role to play in helping to safeguard vulnerable young people from radicalisation and recruitment by terrorist organisations.

With the launch of the Prevent agenda, the UK Government has stated that it has no wish to limit or otherwise interfere with this free flow of ideas, and that it will?be careful to balance the need to preserve national security with protecting civil liberties.

The aim of the Prevent duty and accompanying guidance therefore is to set out the activities that provide a clear framework that all organisations should follow in order to mitigate for the identified risks and protect their learners.

With the passing of Prevent into UK law, the Higher Education and Further Education sectors will need to run training courses that meet this legislation,’ which is alarming for some.

So how can your organisation meet your Prevent training needs?

Why run training courses on Prevent?

All colleges, education and training providers understand the need to safeguard their learners from harm, and the risk from radicalisation of any type is no different. However, how radicalisation is tackled can vary from place to place and from organisation to organisation.

The principal purpose of staff training on Prevent is to equip staff with the ability to recognise signs that a learner might be on the path to becoming radicalised. In this way it can be incorporated into the Safeguarding training that staff are given at induction or during continuing professional development (CPD), in the same way that staff are taught to identify signs of self-harm or physical or domestic abuse.

How can Universities and Colleges run training courses that meet Prevent legislation?

Ofsted anticipates that its monitoring framework will be ready for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. In the meantime, the Education and Training Foundation is working to create a one-stop-shop online facility called  Prevent for FE and Training  where resource materials can be accessed by any provider across the sector.

The quickest and easiest means of providing a generic level of training for all staff is to introduce a roll out of training from a provider, such as Marshall E-learning, whose new Inclusive, Cohesive & Safe Campuses and Colleges course helps to fulfil the legal requirements of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, while not compromising the values of equality and diversity.

Depending upon the perceived risk, organisations may also decide to introduce training which targets specific staff, for example, those with responsibilities for welfare or security.

What areas should be covered in training staff around Prevent?

According to the AELP Prevent Toolkit, when thinking about training staff at the college around Prevent, organisations take a staged approach and focus on groups that are considered a priority first.

When deciding which groups of staff are a priority, there are three things to consider:

  1. Their strategic position in the organisation and their ability to influence the impact of the training

  2. The likelihood that they will either receive information about extremist activity or the radicalisation of learners or observe this behaviour.

  3. The number of staff to be trained this is a practical consideration!

Training programmes should be launched with a short briefing to the management team to make them aware of the issue and to seek their support for the training.

It is important to make sure that senior managers have sufficient information to stress the importance to other staff in their areas that may be involved in training.

In the training, it should be stressed that Prevent fits within the safeguarding process of the college and that the approach is about safeguarding learners from harm.

When delivering the training, Leicester College found that it is important to ensure that, whilst not shying away from the issue of ISIS and the conflict in Syria and Iraq, a balanced view is given, for example, references to right-wing and other extremist activity and how this affects individuals:

‘ It is important to stress the focus is on preventing learners from harm from any form of radicalisation and to illustrate that in many ways the process of radicalisation is essentially one of grooming. Equally it is critical that whoever delivers the training should feel confident to deal with issues that may arise in a sensitive but unambiguous way.’ Quote from the AELP Prevent Toolkit,

What else should you be looking out for when delivering Prevent training?

Here’s a handy Prevent Training Checklist on the kind of things you should be looking out for when delivering Prevent training:

  1. Does your organisation undertake appropriate training and development for governors and board members, leaders and staff?
  2. Does the organisation ensure that opportunities within the FE curriculum are used to promote British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs?
  3. Do all your staff have an understanding of the factors that make people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism?
  4. Do staff have sufficient training to be able to recognise this vulnerability and be aware of what action to take in response?
  5. Has your organisation appointed a specialist for Prevent training and if so do they understand the processes and policies in place when vulnerability has been identified? Do they know when to make referrals to the Channel programme and where to get additional advice and support?
  6. Does your organisation have robust procedures internally and externally for sharing information about vulnerable individuals? This should include information-sharing agreements where possible.
  7. If you are a larger organisation with numerous curriculum areas and departments, do you have an internal staff Channel panel to provide support and advice and make decisions prior to sharing information outside the organisation?

Marshall E-learning has launched a new Prevent Duty elearning course in response to recent legislative changes related to the UK Government’s 40 million national counter-terrorism strategy called CONTEST, of which the Prevent strategy is a part.

If you’d like a free demonstration of this course or would like to find out more about our other elearning courses please get in touch.

Read on for a summary of the course itself.

Inclusive, Cohesive & Safe Campuses and Colleges

Helping to create an organisation that is inclusive whilst free from extremism and radicalisation.

Our Inclusive, Cohesive & Safe Campuses and Colleges courses provide an excellent introduction or refresher in understanding the context, range and constituents in dealing with extremism and radicalisation in education. The importance of these areas in education cannot be underestimated for organisations, students and employees.

Changes in the law now place a statutory requirement on educational organisations to demonstrate what they are doing to prevent extremism and radicalisation escalating into potential or real terrorism.

Our course will enable your organisation to more effectively recognise, manage and implement practical responses to support your safeguarding work in relation to extremism and radicalisation. It will also provide evidence of having due regard to the prevention of extremism and radicalisation successes, and highlight areas for improvement.

After completing this course learners will be able to:

  • Explain and understand why it is important to embed concerns about radicalisation into safeguarding policies

  • Explain and understand why it is necessary to support good campus/college relations between diverse communities with potentially conflicting worldviews

  • Have an overview of challenges from extremism in UK HE/FE sector

  • Explain how radicalisation and potential conflicts between different groups on campus or in colleges can be seen from a safeguarding perspective

  • Understand the PREVENT agenda in the context of; its definition and focus, legal responsibilities (both institutional and individual), practical implications and requirements for sensitivity and cultural empathy

  • Engage with the PREVENT agenda in a wider safeguarding context. In addition to this the course could help your organisation to introduce new perspectives within your existing and new work in areas connected with safeguarding, extremism and radicalisation

If you’d like a free demonstration of this course or would like to find out more about our other elearning courses please get in touch.

Free Trial
Get a