Schools: Counter-terrorism

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have made to the NUT motion rejecting the Prevent strategy and suggesting that it causes "suspicion in the classroom".

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

It is highly disappointing that the NUT conference took this stance towards the Prevent strategy.

The Prevent duty is entirely consistent with schools’ existing responsibilities and it is irresponsible to suggest that it requires teachers to spy on pupils or close down discussion in the classroom. Good schools will already have been safeguarding children from extremism and promoting fundamental British values long before the Prevent duty came into force. Schools provide a safe space for debate and play a key role in helping young people develop critical thinking skills, which increases their resilience to a range of risks, including extremism. We have published guidance on the Prevent duty and made a wide range of advice and materials available to schools through our Educate Against Hate website.

My officials have met representatives of the NUT to discuss Prevent and we will continue to provide school teachers and leaders with support to keep children safe and build their character and resilience.

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