With the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and issues surrounding radicalisation of young people in the UK, Ofsted are looking carefully at how schools are safeguarding children from extremism and radicalisation.
Their approach is informed by the Government’s Prevent strategy, which you can read or download here.
The Prevent strategy and schools – key documents
The government’s Prevent duty is set out in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This set out four themes:
- Risk assessment
- Working in partnership
- Staff training
- IT policies
In response to this, the DfE published their own guidance to help schools implement the duty. For schools inspected by Ofsted, it will be helpful to read this guidance, in conjunction with Ofsted’s ‘Inspecting Safeguarding 2015’ Guide.
Whilst this guidance is non-statutory, all schools, whatever their status, have to implement the Prevent duty and should find it useful.
How prepared is your school to Protect and Prevent?
In response to this raft of policies and guidance, school leaders have to ask themselves some key questions:
- Do you need to review your policies to take into account of the real threat from terrorism and radicalisation?
- Have you updated your risk assessment policy recently?
- In your next inspection, will you be able to demonstrate to Ofsted that you have provided adequate and sufficient training to staff on the threat of terrorism and radicalisation?
- Have you delivered the WRAP training yet?
Training for staff is one of the key themes from the Prevent strategy and DfE. Under the common inspection framework, Ofsted makes explicit reference to the Prevent duty to prevent radicalisation and extremism.
Ofsted will be looking to ensure you have clear procedures in place and up-to-date policies which address concerns about radicalisation. However, Ofsted not only looks at what an educational establishment has done and is currently doing. Crucially, it also looks at what impact these procedures are having.
Further Education and Higher Education Establishments
The obligations to Protect and Prevent aren’t confined to schools. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (section 26) imposes a duty on specified authorities to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
Amongst other actions – including working with the local community and external agencies – the Prevent duty requires further and higher education institutions to ensure:
- staff have undertaken appropriate training or development and share information across relevant curriculum areas.
- there are clear and visible policies in place for both staff and learners with regard to risk assessment. This should also include policies for events that may take place by staff, students, visitors, external bodies and community organisations.
- they are aware of places or areas of learning, where learners/staff may be in contact with, or possibility get involved in, terrorism.
- there is sufficient support available for welfare and pastoral care according to the individual requirements of each institution.
- there is clear guidance and policies available to all on the use of prayer rooms and other faith-related facilities, and any issues which may occur from the use of these facilities.
Institutions must respond to these duties. To properly prepare themselves for inspection, the key questions they need to ask about policies and training are the same ones mentioned above for schools.
Interpreting and acting on these rules and guidance will be daunting for many senior management teams. Nevertheless, schools and other institutions have a key role in the Prevent strategy and must therefore find a way to navigate through it.
If you are interested in a short course on the threat from terrorism and radicalisation as part of your staff training days or would like to invite us to talk to your class as a ‘guest speaker’ then please contact us for more information.
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