Prevent Duty, Counter-Terrorism Legislation and Preventing Racial or Religious Discrimination - EIS Guidance

Created on: 25 Jan 2018 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023


1. At its January 2016 meeting EIS Council passed the following motion:

"That this Council is opposed to islamophobia and calls for a campaign of resistance against attempts to make training in Prevent strategies mandatory for all teachers and lecturers. Council rejects, and will campaign against, the threats to freedom of speech in educational institutions posed by the Scottish government guidance definition of extremism, because of the broad range of individuals and groups who may at some point fall foul of it."

This document is designed to advise members of the background to the EIS opposition and to the implications of Prevent Duty for schools, colleges and universities. The guidance also provides advice to members on what action to take when faced with Prevent Duty related issues.

2. The Prevent Duty forms part of the UK Government's most recent counter- terrorism and security legislation. This legislation has implications for the education system, because it introduced new responsibilities on schools, colleges and universities. The Prevent Duty has been widely criticised, not least for creating conditions in which racism, discrimination and Islamophobia are exacerbated.

3. The EIS opposes the Prevent Duty, and believes that the legislation should be repealed, but in the interim, it is important for teachers and lecturers to be aware of the Duty and its potential impacts. This guidance seeks to make members aware of the legal framework for Prevent Duty, the background to it, its potential impacts in educational contexts, and actions which could be taken in response.

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