Prevent Duty for FE/HE now in force

[Updated to include UCISA Model Regulations]

After short debates in the Houses of Commons and Lords the legal duties on universities and colleges to address risks of radicalisation came into force on 18th September.

The Government’s guidance is unchanged from the drafts published in July. In last week’s debates the Government again stressed that measures should be proportionate and appropriate to the risks faced by individual institutions. The Minister confirmed that “many, if not most, universities are doing most of this already”; similar comments on further education have been made previously. This supports the view in the Guidance that “We do not envisage the new duty creating large new burdens on institutions”.

The debates highlighted three measures needed to deal with radicalisation:

  • Partnership among public sector bodies (through the regional Prevent coordinators);
  • Appropriate procedures and policies within organisations to handle concerns;
  • Individual awareness to identify signs of radicalisation.

Resources on developing procedures and policies are already available from Jisc, Universities UK, the Education and Training Foundation, OFSTED and others. UCISA is reviewing its Model Regulations for the Use of Institutional IT Facilities and Systems to include reference to the Prevent duty. As mentioned in the Minister’s conclusion to the Commons Committee, the Department for Business has enabled Jisc to provide on-line Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent.

By Andrew Cormack

I'm Chief Regulatory Advisor at Jisc, responsible for keeping an eye out for places where our ideas, services and products might raise regulatory issues. My aim is to fix either the product or service, or the regulation, before there's a painful bump!

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