Policy paper

Preventing extremism in the education and children's services sectors

Updated 23 December 2015

Prevent duty

Like other public bodies, schools and childcare providers have a legal duty to “have due regard to prevent people from being drawn in to terrorism”. We’ve explained what this means in our guidance for schools.

This legal duty is called the ‘Prevent duty’. You can find more information about it in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and accompanying statutory guidance for public bodies.

Guidance for schools and childcare providers

Counter-extremism guidance

On 1 July 2015, we published advice on the Prevent duty. This document explains what schools and childcare providers can do to protect children and young people from the risk of radicalisation.

On 1 July 2015 we also published a guide to help schools understand the techniques terrorist groups use on social media.

On 2 September 2015, we shared links to more advice and resources that schools can use to protect their pupils from radicalisation. You’ll need to register with the TES website to access these resources.

We’ve also set up a helpline that schools and other organisations working with children can contact if they have concerns about radicalisation:

Preventing extremism in schools and children's services

If you are concerned about extremism in a school or organisation that works with children, or if you think a child might be at risk of extremism, contact our helpline.

Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm (excluding bank holidays).

Assessing and managing the risk of a terrorist attack

There is a range of advice and information to help you to assess and manage the risk of a terrorist attack. The main sources are below.

The Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) publication ‘Protecting Against Terrorism’ gives advice and good practice for any organisation:

  • to protect against the risk of a terrorist act
  • to limit the damage of any attack

Local authorities must have plans in place for dealing with all types of emergencies. This includes publishing advice on critical incidents in schools on local authority websites. They produce this advice with local police to help schools to plan for emergencies and respond to concerns.

Local resilience forums (LRFs) are partnerships of local public services. They identify potential risks and produce emergency plans.

Fundamental British values

We believe an education that promotes fundamental British values will give young people the ability to challenge and resist the influence of extremist views.

In November 2014, we published guidance on promoting British values for:


We’ve also issued safeguarding principles for schools and other organisations who work with children. This includes protecting children from radicalisation.

Read the statutory guidance ‘Keeping children safe in education’ and ‘Working together to safeguard children’ for more information.

Inspections of schools and childcare providers

From September 2015, Ofsted inspections assess the arrangements schools have in place to promote pupils’ welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism. Read Ofsted’s common inspection framework for more information.