Schools should be aware that they have a new statutory duty from 1st July 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. (Schools should be alert to issues around staff, pupils and parents).
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was published on 12th March 2015. Section 26 of the Act places a duty on schools in England (and Wales) to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. This duty applies to all schools, whether publicly-funded or independent, and organisations covered by the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Statutory guidance has been published. See:
- Prevent Duty Guidance (PDF download)
Schools leaders (including governors) must:
- establish or use existing mechanisms for understanding the risk of extremism,
- ensure staff understand the risk and build capabilities to deal with it,
- communicate and promote the importance of the duty,
- ensure staff implement the duty effectively.
Other duties on schools include:
- effective partnership working with other local agencies, eg. LSCB, police, health, etc.,
- information sharing,
- maintaining appropriate records,
- assessing local risk of extremism (including Far Right extremism),
- demonstrating they are protecting children,
- developing clear protocols for visiting speakers,
- safeguarding policies that take account of LSCB policies and procedures,
- training staff to give them knowledge and confidence,
- ensuring there are robust ICT protocols that filter out extremist materials,
- school buildings must not be used to give a platform to extremists.
Ofsted are responsible for monitoring how well schools are implementing this duty.