Prevent Duty Coincides with a rocketing number of referrals to the police
The Government making the Prevent duty a legal obligation has coincided with an increase in referrals to the counter terrorism unit. The police report that in the first quarter of 2015, the Prevent programme had more than 1,200 referrals from public bodies, including schools.
Meanwhile Ofsted has opened talks with teacher trainers to incorporate Prevent Duty training alongside that given for safeguarding to new teachers. However, more seasoned teachers already see it as as hot potato. Tim Pinto, E-safety Consultant and member of the Educational Advisory Board for CEOP explains:
‘Teachers have reported to me that they feel stressed out about getting the Prevent Duty right. Schools are literally being panicked into covering their backs; whilst on the other hand nobody wants to risk a young person in their charge falling through the net. With the number of referrals to the police set to reach 5,000 this year, teachers are craving any information that helps them assess risk on the ground and that gets the right measures in place to prevent radicalisation happening.’
Ian Pringle is CEO of Kodo Education that runs e-safetysupport.com. His company has made a checklist freely available so that schools can easily identify the steps they need to take. Mr Pringle says:
‘The fear is that teachers do not understand their role in the anti-radicalisation scheme and often don’t know where to start, they are desperate for guidance. Research has revealed that 90% of radicalisation takes place on line. Some teachers remain unfamiliar with the online environment whilst the children are digitally over-confident so we also have to bridge this gap for them in terms of the role the internet can play in radicalisation. We came up with a checklist to give them a strong starting point and to help them decide where to focus resources. More than 1,500 schools logged on the day that we launched it.’
The checklist is part of a suite of anti-radicalisation tools available to those signed up to use the e-safetysupport.com service. There is also an extremism assembly plan, a Tackling Extremism policy template, a parent guide, lesson plans and a staff training module.
Mr Pringle adds:
‘The recent atrocities across the globe and in particular Paris have heightened awareness of the challenges and we’re doing everything we can so that teachers feel they are on top of the issues and playing their part.’