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Section of news print column describing scared pupils

What the new counter-terrorism duty means for schools and further education colleges


Aziz Foundation

Total value of project


Project team

Dr Joel Busher


Paul Thomas, University of Huddersfield; Tufyal Choudhury, Durham University

Duration of project

2016 - 2018

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Project overview

This was the first major mixed-method study into the enactment of the Prevent counter-terrorism in statutory education.

In 2015 the UK government introduced a legal duty requiring that all providers of compulsory education in Britain pay ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.’ This legal duty prompted extensive policy, academic and public debate. This project examined how this much discussed legal duty was being put into practice and the impacts it was having on the ground.

Project objectives

The objective of the project was to empirically interrogate a series of questions about the enactment and impacts of the Prevent duty, derived from key criticisms levelled at the duty.

  1. To what extent did educators express overall opposition to or support for the Prevent Duty?
  2. To what extent was the Prevent Duty interpreted by staff in schools and colleges as a straightforward extension of existing safeguarding responsibilities?
  3. To what extent did staff perceive the Duty to be exacerbating the stigmatisation of Muslim students?
  4. To what extent did staff perceive the Duty to have a ‘chilling effect’ on classrooms and on student voices?
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