The Prevent Duty - preventing extremism

1. About Prevent, Contest and Channel

By law, all registered childcare providers (early years and later years) are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and must have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty. Paragraphs 57-76 of the Act are concerned specifically with schools and childcare providers.

The key aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism or violent extremism. A child or young person may be vulnerable to radicalisation or violent extremism.

Prevent is part of Contest, the government’s strategy to address terrorism.

Channel is the name for the national process of identifying and referring a person for early intervention and support - the word refers to channeling a person through the process. 

The UK government's definition of extremism in their Prevent guidance is

"Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces"

2. Risk Assessment

Schools and childcare providers are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. This should be based on an understanding of the potential risk in the local area.

Part of your assessment of risk will include a summary of the local risk within East Sussex . This will support you in identifying any emerging issues locally for your own risk assessment and you can find this in Appendix D Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation in the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.

3. Training about Prevent and Channel

The East Sussex Prevent e-learning course

This course will introduce you to the Prevent Counter Terrorism Strategy. You will develop an understanding of the Prevent agenda for those working with children, young people and families and their role within it, including statutory duties (and duties specifically for schools).

General awareness training on Channel

The College of Policing & Metropolitan Police Service have produced an online general awareness training module on Channel. The module is suitable for school staff and other front-line workers. It provides an introduction to the topics, including how to identify factors that can make people vulnerable to radicalisation, and case studies illustrating the types of intervention that may be appropriate, in addition to Channel.

4. Make a referral

If you are concerned that someone is vulnerable to radicalisation you have a duty to refer them to the Channel programme. Channel provides support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

Children must not be referred to Channel unless there is very clear evidence that they are being radicalised or are developing an ideology, and there is clearly no alternative or more proportionate means of dealing with the issue. Referring very young people has rightly been a source of community concern and risks undermining the credibility of the Channel programme as a whole.

Association with any non-prescribed organisation is not in itself sufficient to justify a referral. It would require additional behaviours that suggests that they are moving towards terrorism rather than just associating or being attracted to a group that manifests extreme ideologies.

To make a referral please download the referral form and send to the relevant email address.

5. Model Safeguarding school policy

It is very rare for school children to become involved in criminal extremist activity but young people can be exposed to extremism or prejudiced views. This can be from the internet from an early age.

The Model Child Protection and Policy ( as 2 above) has been developed for schools in East Sussex to use which includes details on how you will protect children from messages of violent extremism.

6. British values

The government has set out the need for ‘British values’ to help everyone live in safe and welcoming communities where they feel they belong. The government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values. These British values are defined as:

You can find guidance on promoting British values in schools at GOV.UK.

7. Downloads and links

UK government

Channel Duty Guidance: protecting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism February 2021

Prevent: Duty Guidance - GOV.UK

Prevent Duty - GOV.UK DfE

Other authorities

Educate Against Hate

Government advice and trusted resources for schools to safeguard students from radicalisation, build resilience to all types of extremism and promote shared values. This resource includes classroom resources, government guidance, training for staff and posters and leaflets

Lets Talk About It

An initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The resource includes downloads on spotting the signs, staying safe online and educational resources