Preventing people from being drawn into terrorism has never been more important. In August 2014 the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) raised the threat level to severe, the second highest level, in response to the heightened threat facing the country. Prior to this, in December 2013, the Prime Minister’s Taskforce looked at what more could be done to tackle extremist activity that “creates an environment for radicalising individuals and could lead them on a pathway towards terrorism.”
One of the recommendations stemming from the report was to put Prevent on a statutory footing, and as a result a new statutory duty to have regard to prevent people being drawn into terrorism was introduced as part of the February 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act. The duty applies to a number of public and other specified bodies, including colleges and certain education and training providers.
All colleges and education and training providers understand the need to safeguard their learners from harm, and the risk from radicalisation of any type is no different. However, how radicalisation is tackled can vary from place to place and from organisation to organisation. The aim of the Prevent duty and accompanying guidance therefore is to set out the activities that provide a clear framework that all organisations should follow in order to minimise the risk and protect their learners.
While the 157 Group and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) do not wish the case studies and information provided in this toolkit to be deemed prescriptive or the sole means of implementing the Prevent agenda, the toolkit gives a helpful and timely illustration of how different education and training organisations are tackling extremism, and demonstrates a variety of approaches that address the requirements set out in the Prevent duty.