Since its launch in September 2015, more than 200,000 professionals across the Further Education sector have completed the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF) Prevent duty support programme – funded by the Department for Education (DfE).
Those completing the online modules, created and developed by the sector’s national workforce development body, include teachers, trainers, leaders, support staff and governors. The programme is aimed at supporting them to prevent their students from being drawn into terrorism and extremism. More than 70,000 learners have already completed the online modules aimed at them.
The Government’s Prevent duty places obligations on the Further Education sector "to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" and helps learners to understand the dangers of groups which groom people to become extremists. There are a range of legal obligations for practitioners including ensuring:
- they have undertaken training in the Prevent duty
- they are aware of when it is appropriate to refer Prevent related concerns about students
- learners or colleagues to the Prevent officer, usually safeguarding officer
- they report concerns where these arise
- they exemplify British values of "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs” into their practice as part of their professional behaviour in order to comply with professional standards.
Leaders have a duty to ensure their staff (and themselves) carry out their legal obligations and have appropriate internal policies and procedures in place. The online modules provide tailored support to those with different roles within Further Education.
The ETF has developed a range of modules, funded by the Department for Education, to support professionals and organisations at all levels with the Further Education and training sector. So far, 200,000 people have completed the online modules, two and a half years after they were launched. The modules are also in the Home Office catalogue of approved training for the Prevent duty.
Potential risks posed to learners
Selina Stewart, the Education and Training Foundation’s Prevent duty expert, said: "The take-up from professionals and institutions shows the high level of commitment the Further Education sector has had in responding to the potential risks posed to their learners by extremism.
"Sadly, these are issues which are not going to disappear in the near future so it is vital that the current level of take-up of the modules continues. None of us would want any of our learners to be groomed by extremists into behaviour which can have devastating consequences for them, their families and of course the victims of any violent extremist action."
In July 2017, the ETF launched Prevent modules for learners across the Further Education and Training sector called Side by Side. These free modules are funded by the DfE and cover the dangers of radicalisation and extremism, online safety, deciding what learners can trust, British values and how they can apply them in everyday life. Since their launch, over 70,000 learners have already completed these modules.