The Prevent Duty is part of the Government's overall counter-terrorism strategy known as CONTEST. The Prevent Duty was introduced into law by the Government in 2015 via the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA). Section 26(1) of the CTSA imposes a duty on specified authorities, including Relevant Higher Education Bodies (RHEBs): “to have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. The Act introduced a range of measures aimed at countering the risk of terrorism and radicalisation and The Prevent Duty is now a statutory requirement for the Higher Education Providers (HEPs).
Academic freedom and freedom of speech
The Prevent Duty requires Higher Education Providers to balance their legal duties in terms of freedom of speech and academic freedom (enshrined in law), whilst meeting the requirements of the Prevent Duty by protecting student and staff welfare. LSHTM has produced a Code of Practice on Free Speech which all staff, students and visitors to the School must abide by.
LSHTM has tried to integrate its responsibilities under the Prevent Duty within already established policies and procedures to ensure that we comply with the legislation, whilst ensuring that this is not overburdensome for staff or students and ensures our commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech. LSHTM has appointed key staff to act as the main point of contact for queries relating to the Prevent Duty. A list of all relevant documents can be found below.
Policies and procedures
- Information Management and Security Policy
- External Speakers' Procedure [What to do if you are inviting external speakers to participate in School activities on or off campus]
- Event Marketing and External Speaker Booking
- Multi-Faith Prayer Room Code of Conduct [Required conduct for staff/students using the Multi-Faith Room]
- Prevent Action Plan
- Student Cause for Concern Policy [If you have concerns that a student may be in difficulty for any reason]
- If you have a concern please contact Matt Lee, Chief Operating Officer (+44 (0)20 7927 2558).
The Government has issued two sets of statutory guidance to and further guidance on how the implementation of Prevent in Higher Education will be monitored.
- Revised Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales
- Prevent duty guidance: for higher education institutions in England and Wales
- Updated framework for the monitoring of the Prevent duty in higher education in England
Universities UK have developed the Safe Campus Communities Website which provides broad guidance for universities.
The Committee of University Chairs has produced an illustrative Practice note for governing bodies and the role in relation to Prevent.