Oxford Brookes and the Prevent Duty

  • The Prevent Strategy, published by the Government in 2011, is part of an overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The aim of the Prevent Strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

    The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) imposes a new statutory duty on universities to "have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism." This is now commonly known as "the Prevent duty". Compliance with the duty is monitored by HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England). 

    In order to comply with the Prevent duty, institutions must: 

    • assess the risks associated with people being drawn into terrorism and access the context of their local situation and draw up a proportionate action plan to mitigate those identified risks
    • have responsive, effective welfare support systems, ensuring concerns about students’ wellbeing can be acted on in a jointed up way, drawing on links to local Prevent structures (such as local authorities or the police) if necessary
    • have systems in place for assessing and mitigating risks around external speakers and events on campus, while maintaining the existing duty to promote freedom of speech
    • ensure senior managers and governors are engaged with the Prevent duty, build links with external Prevent partners, and arrange ongoing Prevent training for relevant staff
    • implement an IT usage policy which covers the Prevent duty
    • ensure that students’ unions and societies are aware of, and are consulted with on policies concerning activities on campus.

    Our approach at Brookes

    The University's approach to Prevent is primarily one of safeguarding the welfare our students and staff.

    We have set up the Prevent Duty Advisory Group to:

    • Establish and manage an Action Plan to ensure the University complies with the Prevent Duty Guidance in relation to the student community.
    • Agree an Action Plan, and amend it as required from time to time, for approval by Executive Board.
    • Oversee the implementation of the Action Plan, and to escalate to Executive Board areas where implementation may not be achieved.
    • Review the operation of procedures under the Prevent Duty and discuss any changes required.

    Policies and procedures

    Oxford Brookes has introduced a Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech including Guidance on Visiting Speakers to ensure the University is:

    • protecting freedom of speech on campus whilst at the same time
    • ensuring compliance with all of its statutory obligations (including but not limited to the Prevent duty).

    The policy applies to all activities on University premises and outlines the procedure for obtaining approval for visiting speakers.

    Further information and training

    Raising concerns

    If you have concerns about a student please contact the University Case Conference Group on case-conference@brookes.ac.uk. Alternatively, contact your line manager who will in turn raise the issue with the Case Conference Group. Concerns about staff should be raise through your line manager or through HR Business Partners.  

    Staff contacts

    If you have any questions about the work of the Prevent Duty Steering Group or the impact of Prevent, please email: ksesay@brookes.ac.uk in the first instance.