Councils and schools obliged to prevent radicalisation under Counter-Terrorism and Security Act

The Prevent duty is a part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and comes into effect on 1 July 2015. Schools, universities, prisons, councils, police and NHS trusts will be expected to have ‘due regard to preventing people from being drawn into terrorism’.

These responsibilities will include recognising the signs that someone may be in danger of being radicalised and understanding the proper measures to access help and support.

Schools are to be placed under a new duty of care to their pupils and staff, which includes safeguarding them from the risk of being drawn into extremism. According the guidance, school’s and universities should be safe places, where children and young people can discuss sensitive topics to better understand how to challenge extremist ideas.

Local Authorities will be required to perform regular checks on how public buildings are used and also monitor informal school trips, supplementary learning facilities and after school groups.

Security Minister John Hayes said: “We have seen all too starkly and tragically the dangers of radicalisation and the devastating impact it can have on individuals, families and communities.
“The new Prevent duty is about protecting people from the poisonous and pernicious influence of extremist ideas that are used to legitimise terrorism.

“Protecting those who are vulnerable and at risk of radicalisation needs to be a job for all of us.  The new duty will make sure key bodies across the country play their part and work in partnership.”

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