Impact of anti-terrorism duty on schools will be ‘questionable’

A legal expert, writing in SecEd, raises concerns that the statutory advice for schools connected to the new Prevent anti-terrorism duty simply reaffirms existing duties and practice, while sanctions are limited. Pete Henshaw reports

The impact that the new legal duty to prevent young people from “being drawn in terrorism” will have on schools is “questionable”, a legal expert has said this week.

The duty, which is contained within the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, comes into effect in July and states that schools must have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. 

It continues: “Being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit.”

The law has been introduced after a number of high-profile incidents involving British students travelling or attempting to travel abroad to join Islamic State, including the three London schoolgirls who left for Syria in February.

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