Prevent Duty Guidance for universities and colleges placed before Parliament

Prevent Duty Guidance documents for higher education and further education were placed before the Westminster Parliament on 16 July. Seperate versions of each of these documents, for England/Wales and for Scotland,  were placed before Parliament. The guidance will take effect if and when it is approved by Parliament.

The new guidance was needed because of controversy surrounding the guidance approved by Parliament on 25 March. Lib Dems in the Coalition government were concerned that the guidance might be a threat to the academic freedom. The commencement order issued in the last days of the government therefore excluded higher education and further education institutions. It set a start date of 1 July for other public bodies in Scotland as well as in England and Wales.

The new guidance, if approved by Parliament, will end this anomaly. The University and College Union (UCU) has already voted to boycott Prevent.

Alongside the four documents covering higher education and further education in England/Wales and Scotland, revised versions of the March 2015 guidance have been created , with the sections relating to FE and HE institutions omitted, in light of the issuance of the four new sector-specific guidance documents.

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.