Prevent and British Values - An Introduction for Employers
As part of our commitment to this partnership between Geason Training and yourselves, this section is provided to make sure that you have the information you need about the Prevent
What do you AS AN EMPLOYER need to know?
According to the government and security services, the UK is ‘highly likely’ to suffer a terrorist attack. The current threat level is ‘severe’. Media reports of young people leaving their studies to become involved in terrorism, either here in Britain or overseas, have led to increased concerns about radicalisation and extremism in the further education and training sector.
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has introduced the Prevent Duty for various bodies including all FE training providers, adult education providers and independent learning providers with SFA funding or with over 250 learners enrolled. Employers cannot simply view this duty as a list of conditions to comply with and just adopt a ‘tick-box’ approach. This goes against the spirit of the government’s guidance which seeks to promote meaningful ways to reduce the specific risks of radicalisation and extremism for learners and the local community.
Prevent is the Government’s strategy to stop people becoming involved in violent extremism, or supporting terrorism, in all its forms. Prevent works within the non-criminal space, using early engagement to encourage individuals and communities to challenge violent extremist ideologies and behaviours.
Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.
The government has defined extremism in the Prevent Duty as: "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”. This also includes calls for the death of members of the British armed forces.
Channel is an early intervention process operated by a panel of multi-agency partners with specific knowledge and expertise who collectively assess the risk posed to vulnerable people and prevent them from being drawn into violent extremist or terrorist behaviour. Channel works in a similar way to existing safeguarding partnerships aimed at protecting vulnerable people and is designed to work with individuals of any age who are at risk of being exploited by extremist or terrorist ideologies. The process is shaped around the circumstances of each person and can provide support for any form of radicalisation or personal vulnerabilities. Channel interventions are delivered through local partners and specialist agencies.
The support may focus on a person’s vulnerabilities around health, education, employment or housing, as well as specialist mentoring or faith guidance and broader diversionary activities such as sport. Each support package is tailored to the person and their particular circumstances.
Referrals come from a wide range of partners including education, health, youth offending teams, police and social services but anyone can make a referral.
Although this list is not exhaustive, identification of concerns which might lead to a referral include:
- an expression of views which discriminate against protected groups or individuals
- third party reports of concerns about behaviour e.g. plans to travel abroad or extremist activities
- evidence of discriminate treatment of other groups or individuals
- evidence of bullying behaviour or harassment
- evidence of non-compliance with the provider’s expectations of behaviour
- possessing and/or accessing extremist materials
- evidence of family concerns about a person’s vulnerability to extremism
- expression of extremist views including on Facebook
- use of extremist language
- threats of violence
As employers you will have regular direct contact with your employees and may get to know them well. You may witness activity and behaviour or receive information which other staff are not privy to. If you believe that someone is vulnerable to being exploited or radicalised, please contact the Geason Training Designated Safeguarding Officer to escalate your concerns. The Safeguarding Officer can then raise those concerns to Channel if they feel it necessary to do so; however, if in doubt, report your concerns.
From 1st July 2015, employers have a duty to actively promote fundamental British values; these were first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011. Ofsted include an assessment of its implementation in their inspections.