From Wednesday 1 July 2015, all schools and childcare providers must have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.
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."
Lord Nash, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools has written to all schools to remind them of this duty. Read his letter here. The Department for Education has also produced some departmental advice on meeting the new duty. For support and advice to help you understand this new duty you can access all of PACEY's resources on our dedicated British Values Spotlight page.
Childcare and early years providers have a critical part to play. Early years providers serve arguably the most vulnerable and impressionable members of society. In England, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) accordingly places clear duties on providers to keep children safe and promote their welfare. It makes clear that to protect children in their care, providers must be alert to any safeguarding and child protection issues in the child’s life at home or elsewhere (paragraph 3.4 EYFS).
Childcare and Early Years Providers subject to the Prevent Duty will be expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas:
- Assessing the risk of children being drawn into terrorism.
- Demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having robust safeguarding policies.
- Ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism
- Expected to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet
The Ofsted Common Inspection Framework that will be implemented in September 2015 includes reference to “providers promoting children’s welfare and preventing radicalisation and extremism”.
Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings - Guidance for inspectors undertaking inspection under the common inspection framework - June 2015 also makes reference to the Prevent duty and keeping children safe from dangers of radicalisation and extremism.
Guidance and safeguarding advice for childcare providers has been published ow.ly/P2Uzd.