The Office for Students (OfS) has today published a range of data relating to how universities and colleges are performing their duties under the Prevent framework.
The Prevent duty aims to safeguard people from being drawn into or supporting terrorism. Universities and colleges have a number of obligations under the framework, including effective welfare mechanisms to support at-risk individuals, managing external speaker requests, and providing staff training.
The OfS requires data submissions across these activities, providing information about how universities and colleges are implementing their policies and procedures. Data published covers three years, from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Among data published today:
- In 2019-20, there were 37 instances where cases were formally referred to the police or local authority. There were 24 instances in 2018-19 and 15 in 2017-18.
- In 2019-20 and 2018-19 combined, the total number of events or speaker requests rejected for Prevent-related reasons was fewer than five. Overall, the number of events or speaker requests rejected in 2019-20 was 94, with 43,337 events approved. In 2018-19, 141 events were rejected with 59,782 requests approved.
- In 2019-20, 22,363 staff received induction Prevent training, 11,151 received refresher training, and 102,527 received broader welfare/safeguarding awareness training or briefing.
As part of their responsibilities around Prevent, providers must have particular regard to the duty to ensure freedom of speech.See the full data return summary
- The OfS collects data on all external speakers and events approved by a provider, not just those that relate to Prevent, to provide broader context. From the 2018-19 return, providers were also asked to identify how many of those external speakers and events were rejected for Prevent-related reasons. This helps the OfS to understand how a provider has implemented its policies and procedures, including whether a provider has given particular regard to the duty to ensure freedom of speech and academic freedom. Where a provider has reported that an event has been rejected but that this was for a reason not related to Prevent, the OfS has not asked for further information about that event.