Religious Education and the new Prevent Duty

Today marks the day when the new Prevent duty comes into force, placing a requirement on all schools to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.

Following a series of Interfaith Explorer discussions and activities with teachers and schools about the new duty over recent months, we’ll be holding a roundtable discussion on Thursday 2nd July with key figures from the educational and interfaith sectors and those interested in religious violence.

Under the duty, schools will be required to address violent and non-violent extremism through creating safe spaces in which children and young people can understand and discuss terrorism including extremist ideas, and learn how to challenge them.  Crucially, schools will now also be inspected by Ofsted and assessed on their measures to protect their pupils from extremist material, and demonstrate awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation in their area; alongside ensuring effective leadership, partnership working and capabilities in addressing risks amongst their pupils
 
Consequently, the roundtable will examine the implications of the new Prevent duty on schools; explore Ofsted requirements for schools to promote and support Fundamental British Values alongside the behaviour and safety of pupils; hear from Ofsted about the approach they are adopting when it comes to school inspections; examine the role of religious education and religious literacy in promoting British values and citizenship; and whether the role of religious education will be enhanced or undermined by the Prevent duty in light of public perceptions that education is now being unacceptably securitized.

Attendees include the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education; the National Association for Primary Education; the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network; the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (NASACRE); the Centre for Holocaust Studies at UCL; the Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education at UCL; the London Faiths Forum; the Interfaith Network; the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life; DEMOS; the Association for Citizenship Teaching; and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Professor Nasser D. Khalili, founder of the Maimonides Interfaith Foundation.