Prevent & British Values
As of July 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act placed a new duty on Universities, Colleges and other education providers. Under section 26 of the Act, we are required, in the exercise of their functions, to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
Writtle University College (WUC) is required to:
- Assess risk of radicalisation in our area/institution
- Develop and progress an action plan to reduce this risk
- Train staff to recognise radicalisation and extremism
- Work in partnership with other agencies
- Develop referral mechanisms and refer people to Channel
- Maintain records and reports to show compliance
- Promote British Values
- Update relevant policies and procedures
- Prepare young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life and promote community cohesion
- Provide safe spaces in which young people can understand and discuss sensitive topics, including terrorism and the extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology
- Be mindful of existing duties to forbid political indoctrination and secure a balanced presentation of political issues
Channel is a national programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people identified as vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
WUC operates in accordance with local procedures for Prevent and with other agencies, sharing information and concerns as appropriate. Where we have concerns about extremism or radicalisation, we will seek advice from appropriate agencies and, if necessary, make a referral to Social Care, the Prevent Police Team and/or the Channel Panel.
It can be difficult to know what to do if you are worried someone close is expressing extreme views or hatred, which could lead to them harming themselves or others.
The advice is to act early and share your concerns. If they are about a member of the WUC community, one option is to get in touch with our Safeguarding team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is someone with no connections to WUC, you can find out more information and/or raise a concern via https://actearly.uk/.
The approach taken under Prevent is to understand people are victims of radicalisation and the earlier concerns are picked up, the quicker the vulnerable person may be able to get the help they need.
The Government has defined extremism in the Prevent duty guidance document as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs".
British values are of paramount importance to us at WUC. We see British values as underpinning what it is to be a citizen in a modern and diverse Great Britain. As well as actively promoting these values to our students, we are also embedding these into student work across all Further Education curriculum areas.
In 2014, the Department of Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school and college prepared for life in modern Britain and these values were first set out in the 'Prevent' strategy in 2011.
With these values in mind, at WUC we aim to:
- Help students to become valuable and rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background
- Promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different beliefs and faiths to students
- Ensure young people understand the importance of respect and leave Writtle University College fully prepared for life in modern Britain
- Celebrate difference and promote diversity
- Encourage an understanding of the difficulties other cultures face where such values are not respected
We are also taking action to:
- Embed different materials about British Values into different curriculum areas
- Ensure that all our students have a voice that is listened to and valued and demonstrate how democracy works through promoting our Student Council and encouraging students to feedback to us through student surveys and student reps
- Use opportunities such as general elections and debates to promote British values and help students to argue and defend different points of view
- Develop and encourage extra-curricular activities amongst students which promote fundamental British values such as active faith societies
- Actively consult with our student representatives to gather student views and feedback on issues that affect the student body
- Encourage students to become responsible learners and to actively participate in their own learning and development