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what now for Prevent?

22 June 2017

Recent terrorist atrocities have brought the Government’s Prevent Strategy into sharp focus and pose two important questions – is the strategy fit for purpose and what will be expected of schools to adequately discharge their duty to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”?

There has long been concern that the prevent strategy focussed the mind – intentionally or otherwise – on the threat of Islamic radicalisation. Given recent events, will this now change? According to the Independent, nearly a third of referrals to Channel and 8% of arrests were based on extreme far right views. Without a shift in focus, I would expect those numbers to climb.

So should we expect a new approach? There has been no suggestion of it yet, but at the very least I expect Ofsted to pay greater attention to the steps schools are taking to discharge their duty and in the longer term we are likely to see new guidance, updated training expectations and an even sharper focus on this issue during inspections.

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