Court of Appeal judgment
The Court of Appeal ruled on 8 March 2019 that one paragraph contained within the Prevent duty guidance for higher education institutions in England and Wales (paragraph 11) was unlawful. The same, or a very similar, paragraph is also contained in the Prevent duty guidance for further education institutions in England and Wales (paragraph 8), the Prevent duty guidance for higher education institutions in Scotland (paragraph 11), and the Prevent duty guidance for further education institutions in Scotland (paragraph 8).
This judgment only affects that one paragraph in each of those documents and the rest of those documents, and the other Prevent duty guidance documents, should continue to be read as before. Higher and further education institutions affected by the Prevent duty should refer to the court’s judgment, in particular paragraphs 158 to 177. The government is considering the ruling and will announce its next steps in due course.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 contains a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This is also know as the Prevent duty.
In March 2015, Parliament approved guidance issued under section 29 of the act about how specified authorities are to comply with the Prevent duty. Specified authorities must have regard to this guidance when complying with the Prevent duty.
Two versions of the guidance were approved: one for specified authorities in England and Wales, and one for specified authorities in Scotland. These 2 documents were revised in July 2015, removing the chapters on further and higher education institutions. This is because 4 new pieces of stand-alone, sector-specific guidance for these institutions were issued (see below). The 2 revised Prevent duty guidance documents are the first 2 on this page.
Higher and further education prevent duty guidance
The remaining 4 documents, issued on 16 July 2015 under section 29 of the act, have been issued to provide guidance to higher and further education institutions subject to the duty. Following Parliament’s approval of the guidance documents, they came into effect on 18 September 2015.
The duty commenced on 1 July 2015 for authorities specified in schedule 6 to the act, save in respect of specified authorities in the further and higher education sectors. The duty commenced for the latter authorities on 18 September 2015.
To assist implementation of the duty in section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, a Prevent e-learning training package is now available. This is introductory training. It provides a foundation on which to develop further knowledge around the risks of radicalisation and the roles involved in supporting those at risk.
Institutions covered by the Prevent Duty may wish to consider further training resources available within the Prevent training catalogue to support their implementation of the Prevent Duty.