The Prevent duty - HEFCE’s latest updates

HEFCE is currently responsible for monitoring the Prevent duty for relevant HE providers in England and has recently issued a suite of documents and web updates on this topic. These are as follows:

Analysis of Prevent annual reports from higher education providers for activity in 2015-16 (HEFCE 2017/11)

This paper is an analysis of the first set of annual reports submitted by HE providers covering their Prevent duty activity in the 2015-16 academic year. It shows that providers are making good progress in fulfilling their statutory duty.

Of the 313 providers who submitted annual reports:

• 298 providers satisfied HEFCE that they were demonstrating due regard to the Prevent duty and actively implementing the approaches they had set out in the initial phase of monitoring;

• Only 15 providers were judged as “further evidence needed” – engagement with these providers is a key priority going forward; and

• 0 providers were judged as “does not demonstrate due regard to the duty”.

The report also contains a range of case studies of good practice across key themes of the Prevent duty guidance, including welfare, events and speakers, approach to web filtering and arrangements in place at franchise partner providers.

Evaluation of monitoring of the Prevent duty in higher education in England (HEFCE 2017/12)

HEFCE has also reviewed its role as monitor for Prevent and the framework under which it operates and is taking forward the recommendations arising from that review. The evaluation comprised four main elements: a survey of relevant higher education bodies, structured interviews with key higher education stakeholder bodies, structured interviews with relevant government departments, and internal reflections from within HEFCE. The recommendations were relatively minimal and relate to providing further support and guidance to the sector in relation to the requirements for annual reporting and supporting the sharing of practice in key areas of the Prevent duty.

Framework for the monitoring of the Prevent duty in higher education in England: 2017 onwards (HEFCE 2017/10)

HEFCE has made some minor amendments to the monitoring framework, which sets out its approach to monitoring whether providers are having “due regard” to Prevent. Although this version supersedes the one published in September 2016, none of the changes are substantive in respect of approach or expectations on providers.

Update on HEFCE’s Prevent monitoring activity and guidance for annual reports on 2016-17 Prevent activity (Circular letter 28/2017)

This provides a short, high-level overview of HEFCE’s monitoring of the Prevent duty over the past academic year and highlights that the Office for Students is expected to take over the role of monitoring authority of Prevent when it is fully established in April 2018, although significant changes following this takeover are not expected.,282017/

Whilst the volume of new and updated material HEFCE has produced in respect of its monitoring obligations is somewhat substantial, the change in substance is not. With guidance from HEFCE, providers look to be making good progress in fulfilling their statutory duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

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