Exclusive: Teachers are not being given adequate Prevent strategy training, poll finds

4th November 2016 at 01:01
TES survey reveals many teachers feel ill-equipped to spot radicalised pupils

More than two-fifths of teachers say that the training they have received for the government’s Prevent policy lasted only an hour or less, according to a TES survey.

The finding comes despite MPs, unions and thinktanks all stressing the need for teachers to have better training in order to support the controversial counterterrorism strategy.

Prevent requires teaching staff to identify children at risk of being radicalised, and to take action over concerning behaviour.

But out of more than 450 teachers who responded to TES’ snap survey this week, the biggest proportion – 41 per cent – said that they had received an hour or less of Prevent training in total.

And, of those respondents, more than half (53 per cent) felt that it was not enough.

'Read and click' software

The news follows warnings that teachers could make children more vulnerable to radicalisation if they apply the Prevent strategy in an overly heavy-handed way.

One respondent said: “My training was an online read-and-click software package. That was it. Apparently, I am now qualified to spot and deal with potential radicalised students.”

Overall, 38 per cent of teachers responding to the survey felt that their training had been insufficient.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Schools are best placed to determine the nature and level of training they require to meet their responsibilities under the Prevent duty."

This is an edited article from the 4 November edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week's TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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