New guidance issued by the EIS - Scotland's biggest teaching union - pledges support for union members concerned over human rights abuses arising from the Government's Prevent strategy.
The guidance says:
"61. The EIS will issue further advice to members as necessary about Prevent and will support members and branches which raise concerns about the implementation or training where they believe this may:
i. Breach human rights laws and principles
ii Encourage the racial profiling of students
iii Encourage the targeting or victimisation of students for reason of faith, culture or legitimate political expression. "
The guidance also says:
"62. The EIS re-affirms its opposition to mandatory training in Prevent strategies; urges branches to resist any attempt by employers to impose such training, and will support branches in doing so."
These statements are very welcome and provide a firm foundation for action by the EIS against the damage being done to the education system by Prevent. Vigilance and determination will be needed on the part of the EIS and its members for these policies to be effective.
Two recent reports have highlighted conflicts between human rights principles and Prevent as it is applied in education. Preventing Education? Human Rights and UK Counter-Terrorism Policy in Schools was published by Rights Watch UK in July 2016. Eroding Trust: The UK’s Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education, was published in October 2016. Both reports call for an end to Prevent in this sector.
SACC continues to believe that a complete boycott of Prevent is the most effective way to end Prevent and avoid human rights abuses.
The EIS guidance can be downloaded here: