Furthermore, schools must have regard to statutory guidance issued in relation to the Prevent duty. The DfE has also recently published non-statutory advice on the Prevent duty which fleshes out the implications for schools and signposts a number of resources available - with the promise of more to come.
Getting to grips with terminology is the starting point. The DfE advice explains that 'radicalisation' is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. It is seen as the stage during which it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorist-related activity. And the statutory guidance explains the linkage between terrorism, extremism and radicalisation in the following terms:
'Terrorist groups often draw on extremist ideology, developed by extremist organisations. Some people who join terrorist groups have previously been members of extremist organisations and have been radicalised by them. The Government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces”.”
The statutory guidance emphasises that the new legal duty on schools shouldn't either add or detract a great deal from what good schools are already doing. All academies are required by law to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. They must also promote community cohesion.
Likewise, the DfE advice stresses that the Prevent duty is entirely consistent with schools' existing responsibilities, should not be burdensome and is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues.
Implementing the Prevent duty will require all schools to take action across all the following areas:
Compliance with the Prevent duty will require schools to review aspects of their existing policies, particularly child protection, risk assessment and IT policies. The statutory guidance also specifically mentions that schools should have clear protocols for ensuring that any visiting speakers are suitable and appropriately supervised.
In terms of staff training, DfE advice suggests that schools are best placed to assess their training needs but that, as a minimum, the DSL should undertake Prevent Awareness Training and be able to provide advice and support to other members of staff. The Home Office has developed a core training product called Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) and schools should enquire with local partners whether there are accredited WRAP-trained facilitators.