Oxford Brookes and the Prevent Duty

  • What is the Prevent duty?

    The Prevent Strategy, first published by the Government in 2011, is part of an overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST

    The objectives of Prevent are to: 

    • tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism
    • safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support
    • enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.

    The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) imposed a 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 the Office for Students (OfS).

    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 joined 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.

    Two useful external links to follow are:

    Our approach at Oxford Brookes

    The University's approach to Prevent is primarily one of safeguarding the welfare of 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 requirements of the Prevent duty
    • 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
    • review of relevant Policies and Procedures to ensure compliance with Prevent duty requirements
    • design, review and have oversight of appropriate Staff training on Prevent related issues.

    For further details, see the Prevent Duty Advisory Group google site (members of Oxford Brookes only).

    Training

    As per the expectations of the Prevent duty, and the OfS monitoring of compliance, there is an expectation that staff receive appropriate training. The Prevent Duty Advisory Group oversees the Moodle Training module.

    All new staff are required to undertake the training as part of their induction, and all staff are strongly encouraged to take the training module.

    Staff deemed to be in key roles will be required to undertake more in depth training and refresher training, and staff in these roles will be contacted. If you believe that you should receive more in depth training then please contact the Academic Registrar.

    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.

    Linked to this code of practice is the External Speaker Request Form (members of Oxford Brookes only).

    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 raised through your line manager or through HR Business Partners.

    If appropriate, concerns may be brought to the attention of the Academic Registrar as the institution lead on Prevent duty compliance. If necessary, concerns may be escalated to a Channel Panel

    For more information on how the University responds to complex situations involving students, please see Policy on Responding to Complex Student Situations.

    Two useful external links to reference if you have concerns are:

    Staff contacts

    If you have any questions about the work of the Prevent Duty Steering Group or the impact of Prevent, please email the Academic Registrar in the first instance.