(Last updated: August 24, 2021)

Teachers, Safeguarding Leads, IT staff, pupils, students, families — Have you got experience of the Prevent programme in education?

The education sector made the most referrals (2,426) to the Prevent programme in 2017/2018, accounting for 33%.

In 2017/18, of 7,318 individuals referred, the majority (4,144; 57%) were aged 20 years or under. Those aged 20 years or under also made up the majority of the 1,314 individuals discussed at a Channel panel (818; 62%) and 394 individuals that received Channel support (259; 66%)

[Source: Home Office statistical bulletin December 2018.]

Some are barely in school before being referred. One 4 year old “was referred to the UK’s anti-extremism watchdog over Fortnite comments“.

We know how hard it can be to get errors and records removed, and people are concerned that the information could be used against them in the future, “even though they were based on a mistake”.

Prevent’s efficacy and harm is long overdue review; its underlying assumptions and evidence base, its human rights implications for all fundamental freedoms, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and, ultimately, whether it is fit for purpose. We are however deeply disappointed that the government will not address this with the respect and independence it requires, signified by two successive appointments to the Review process.

We have been made aware of aspects of the implementation of the Programme that negatively affect children and need to change. In particular we hear stories in relation to the creation of records about children from Internet monitoring and classroom management software, that can contribute to profile building behind the scenes.

We welcome additional stories of your own experience. We are researching this topic, across any age group in education, for the purposes of building evidence and will be as confidential as participants want it to be.

Whether you are a teacher, school safeguarding lead, IT network manager, a pupil or their families, or have any other experience, we would welcome your input, anonymous or otherwise.

We will treat all your information with complete confidence and only disclose anything as a case study or in evidence, in full agreement with you.

Please get in touch.