The implementation of the government’s Prevent Duty is in danger of restricting freedom of speech and discussion in our schools, warns Kevin Courtney

Schools and teachers have a moral responsibility to seek to protect our children from grooming, whether for sexual exploitation or by violent extremist groups. We need the best possible systems and support in our schools to help safeguard students.

But most of that grooming happens in private – in bedrooms on private social media accounts – so the question of how we best “vaccinate” children against it is vitally important.

The Prevent strategy was published by the government in 2011 as part of its overall counter-terrorism strategy. In 2015 it was given legal status in schools and colleges in England and Wales, which are now obliged by statute “to have due regard” to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

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