Prevent Duty Guidance comes into force

The Prevent Duty Guidance came into force today, both in Scotland and in England and Wales. The Prevent Duty Guidance is issued under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and places a statutary duty on public bodies to implement the Government's 'Prevent' programme. The Prevent programme is supposedly intended to prevent people from turning to terrorism. In SACC's view it is un-democratic, manipulative, discriminatory and Islamophobic and is likely to achieve the opposite of the purpose claimed for it.

The guidance takes effect as a result of a commencement order issued in the last days of the Coalition government. The order excludes higher education and further education institutions (even though they are covered in the guidance approved by Parliament in March) because of concerns felt by Lib Dem members of the government over academic freedom. The governement will presumably soon take the necessary steps to extend the guidance to HE and FE institutions, as it originally intended.

The University and College Union (UCU) has already voted to boycott Prevent.