The Office for Students (OfS) monitors what higher education (HE) providers do to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.
What is the Prevent duty?
The Prevent duty aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
The government created two sets of statutory guidance to support the strategy, one of which is specifically for higher education bodies.
The government has set out our monitoring role under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
What do institutions have to do?
To comply with the Prevent duty, providers need to:
- assess the risks associated with Prevent and draw up a plan to mitigate these
- have effective welfare support systems, linking to local authorities or the police if necessary
- make arrangements for sharing information about vulnerable individuals
- have systems for assessing and mitigating risks around external speakers and events on campus, while maintaining the existing duty to promote freedom of speech
- arrange ongoing Prevent training for relevant staff
- have an IT usage policy which covers the Prevent duty
- ensure that students' unions and societies are aware of policies concerning activities on campus.
Does Prevent apply to my institution?
The Prevent duty applies to the governing bodies of ‘relevant higher education bodies’ (RHEBs).
During the 2018-19 academic year, this will include:
- higher education institutions that are funded directly by the Office for Students
- alternative providers with specific-course designation for student support purposes
- the autonomous colleges, schools and halls of the universities of Cambridge, Durham and Oxford
- other providers that offer higher education to more than 250 students.
We do not expect any significant changes from August 2019 following the introduction of the OfS regulatory framework. From then, RHEBs will include:
- registered providers in the ‘approved’ and ‘approved fee cap’ categories
- other providers with over 250 higher education students
- the autonomous colleges, schools and halls of the Universities of Cambridge, Durham and Oxford.
Further education colleges
Ofsted, rather than the OfS, is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Prevent duty by further education colleges.