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How to balance the legal risks of the Prevent duty

Colleges must meet anti-extremism obligations while protecting freedom of speech and student relationships

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Last year, the government made colleges subject to a new obligation under the CounterTerrorism and Security Act – the Prevent duty – aimed at stopping young people becoming involved in terrorism. Now Ofsted has warned that colleges are failing to comply with the duty, exposing them to legal action and placing students at risk. The inspectorate tells of students watching terrorist propaganda because of deficient firewalls on IT systems, and criticises those who fail to reprimand or offer support to these students.

Lecturers say it is difficult to know what the duty involves. They fear that it ...

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