Prevent duty

We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of our students, apprentices and staff and to meeting our duties under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the UK Government's associated Prevent strategy.

Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a legal duty on “specified authorities”, which includes universities, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. For guidance, please see statutory guidance: revised Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales.

What to do if you are concerned

You might notice a change in a person's behaviour that is cause for concern. You may think they are at potential risk of exploitation by radicalisers. Regardless of who you are, you must share these concerns with a Safeguarding Lead. 

Frequently asked questions about Prevent duty

Prevent is the name of the Government strategy which aims to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It covers a broad range of activities and initiatives, but safeguarding is a key element.

There are 3 specific objectives of the Prevent strategy:

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they get appropriate advice and support; and
  • Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.

At UCLan, our Prevent responsibilities are managed under the our safeguarding policy. We balance our responsibilities under the Prevent duty against other obligations. These include equality and diversity, freedom of speech and academic freedom.

Monitoring compliance with the Prevent duty is the responsibility of the Office for Students (OfS) and the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) for apprenticeships.

There is an ongoing requirement to submit an annual accountability and data return demonstrating evidence of ongoing engagement and active implementation of the Prevent duty to OfS. The return includes an accountability declaration by the Board, and an OfS Prevent monitoring data set, to demonstrate that UCLan has due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism (the Prevent duty).

Compliance requires that properly thought-out and proportionate policies, procedures and risk assessments are in place, including those for the management of events. An institutional risk register considers where and how students or apprentices might be at risk of being drawn into terrorism, with mitigations identified.

We recognise our responsibilities under the Prevent duty are no different to the approach we take when safeguarding individuals from other forms of harm or abuse. We protect the welfare and safety of our UCLan community, whilst balancing this duty against our commitment to freedom of speech, academic freedom and other key legislation.

We are proactive in monitoring attendance and engagement. We provide comprehensive and accessible academic, mental health and wellbeing support. This ensures all vulnerable individuals receive support at the earliest opportunity.

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. However, there is no expectation for anyone to identify the reason why someone may need support or why they are behaving in a particular way. It is important to recognise the signs that someone needs support, whatever the reason. Then refer these concerns in line with our safeguarding procedure.

We understand that it's important to ensure that all members of the UCLan community receive the appropriate level of training. This will help prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

All members of the UCLan community should have an understanding of the factors that make people support terrorist ideologies or engage in terrorist-related activity. They should be aware of what action to take in response.

Find out more about specific safeguarding and Prevent training on our webpage.

Channel is a key element of the Prevent strategy. It is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation. Channel uses existing collaboration between local authorities and statutory partners including:

  • Education and health sectors;
  • Social services;
  • Children’s and youth services; and
  • Offender management services.

It works with these organisations, as well as the police and the local community, to:

  • Identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism;
  • Assess the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • Develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

Channel is about safeguarding children, young people and adults from being drawn into terrorist-related activity. It is about early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risk they face before illegality occurs.

Prevent is intended to deal with all forms of terrorism. In summary according to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000 terrorism is:

  • The use or threat of action (serious violence against a person, serious damage to property, endangering a person’s life, serious risk to the health and safety of the public, serious interference/disruption of an electronic system);
  • designed (i) to influence the government or international governmental organisation; or (ii) to intimidate the public or a section of the public; and
  • made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.

Listed in alphabetical order, terrorist threats include:

  • Anarchist extremism
  • ‘Single issue’ extremism - including environmentalist and animal rights movements that advocate violence
  • Right Wing Extremism
  • Islamist Extremism
  • Incel-related
  • Left Wing Extremism
  • Mixed/Unstable/Unclear ideologies, including fixations on violence
  • Northern Ireland-related terrorism

There is also a list of proscribed organisations on the Government website.

The government has defined extremism as:

  • Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values.
  • Calls for the death of members of our armed forces.

Prevent is not about stopping people holding and expressing views others might find offensive. It is where there is evidence of vocal or active harassment, intimidation or incitement to violence that there is a risk of people being drawn into terrorism

Radicalisation is the process through which someone is encouraged or persuaded to adopt an ideology that supports terrorism. Radicalisation isn’t just a safeguarding issue, but safeguarding is a vital part of the government’s broader Prevent strategy, aimed at stopping people being drawn into terrorism.

This means that we are required by law to demonstrate we have effective arrangements in place to safeguard members of our UCLan community from being drawn into terrorism. We have to ensure colleagues are appropriately trained to identify potential issues and know how to report any concerns through appropriate channels.