The Prevent Duty
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 introduced a package of measures aimed at countering the risk of terrorism and radicalisation. It creates a statutory duty for specified public authorities to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’, known as the Prevent duty.
Universities became subject to the new Prevent duty on 18 September 2015, and the Office for Students (OfS) (previously HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England)) has responsibility for assessing how they meet the requirements under the new duty.
Essentially, we are required to assess the risk of our students being drawn into terrorism and to set in place robust policies and procedures, which are fit for purpose, to mitigate that risk. We are required to pay particular attention to external speakers and events on campus, staff training, student welfare and pastoral care and IT policies.
We also need to balance our Prevent duties against our legal duties in terms of ensuring both freedom of speech and academic freedom, whilst also protecting student and staff welfare.
The Prevent Working Group
The University has established a Prevent Working Group, chaired by Kate Quantrell (Group Registrar and Chief Governance Officer) to consider in detail how the University should best give effect to the statutory Prevent duty. Membership of the Group includes representatives from the four faculties, the Students’ Union, Academic Development, Estates (Protection Services), Student Services, the International Office, Coventry University London, CU Group* and Ofsted Compliance. The Group is in contact with counterparts at other universities and local organisations.
Our compliance with the Act and guidance will be monitored by the OfS, which has published a Monitoring framework for the HE sector, setting out a timetable for HEI’s to submit evidence of what they are doing to comply with the duty.
Reporting concerns under Prevent
If you have concerns that a University student or University staff member is being drawn into terrorism, contact Kate Quantrell, Group Registrar & Chief Governance Officer, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have a query about the University’s implementation of the Prevent duty, please contact Kate Quantrell, Group Registrar & Chief Governance Officer, (email@example.com)
*CU Group refers to Coventry University College Limited, a company wholly-owned by Coventry University. Its trading names are CU Coventry, CU Scarborough and CU London