An Association of Teachers and Lecturers survey last week showed how many FE professionals felt unprepared for their new duties to help prevent learners become attracted to terrorism. Selina Stewart explains the help at hand from the ETF.

The new FE Prevent Duty guidance document became statutory on September 21, so the duty is now law.

All FE providers — college, private or adult education — now have a clear legal obligation to prevent extremism in their organisations and to protect their students from exploitation by extremists. The Prevent Duty applies to all providers and to all areas, not just the big cities.

Colleges, independent learning providers (ILPs) and adult and community learning (ACL) providers will all be aware of the high profile of the Prevent Duty. This may be because in the North East of England Liam Lyburd was recently convicted of planning mass murder at his local college or because families and young men and women are travelling abroad to join extremist  organisations.

The ETF recognises what a challenge the duty is for providers. To comply with it, one requirement is that board members, staff and volunteers are Prevent Duty-trained. The ETF has developed a suite of four free online training modules, tailored to the needs of leaders and managers, practitioners, support staff and governors or board members. These present the Prevent Duty in various FE contexts with case studies. They cover different groups of staff including facilities staff, librarians and practitioners.

The Prevent Duty applies to all providers and to all areas,not just the big cities

The materials are flexible, accessible, and derived from work with the sector. They deal with the broad scope of the Prevent Duty, including who needs to comply, policies and procedures. The modules provide an insight into how to implement British values into practice and how to exemplify British values which include compliance with the Equality Act 2010. They give examples of how British values can be integrated into curriculum areas and what is expected in terms of staff, governor, board member and volunteer behaviour.

It is often difficult to get staff, governors or board members together for training sessions, which is why the training is provided free and online.

Staff, governors and board members can use the materials wherever they have access to the internet and at a time which is appropriate for them. This gives a flexibility which many providers appreciate.

The feedback on the modules has been very positive. Angie O’Neil, head of Wirral adult education service, said it was a “great resource – really straightforward, informative and easy to navigate”.

“The modules and the resources available are really helpful for all staff to understand what is meant by Prevent and how this understanding can be applied and integrated into wider service practice – in particular teaching, learning and assessment,” she told us.

The ETF is aware that it is very time-consuming for colleges, ILPs and ACL providers to collect the certificates for everyone who has completed the modules. Therefore in addition we offer a paid-for service, the Provider Access System (PAS), which allows provider to upload the details of all those who need to take the modules and to monitor their progress.

The cost of the licences varies between £250 and £850 depending on the number of licences organisations need to buy. If you are interested in finding out more about the provider access system then go to
www.preventforfeandtraining.org.uk.

We are confident that free online training modules and the PAS will make it much easier for colleges, ILPs and ACL providers to Prevent Duty train their staff, volunteers and governors or board members.

We plan to continue to develop Prevent Duty support for the sector in the form of face to face training sessions for Safeguarding officers and a consultancy offer to provider face to face support for providers.