Prevent Duty

The Prevent duty became law back in 2015. This is a duty on all schools and registered early years providers to have due regard to preventing people being drawn into terrorism. In order to protect children in your care, you must be alert to any reason for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. This includes awareness of the expression of extremist views.

The government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs." 

All employees must be vigilant and are required to inform the necessary agencies if they suspect children are being exposed to extremism.


Promoting British values in childcare and early years


Knowing and understanding the Prevent duty for child carers is essential for promoting good British values and spotting the signs of possible radicalisation has never been more important.

How can an early years setting comply with The Prevent of Duty?

Childcare and early years providers subject to the Prevent duty are expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas:

  • Assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism.

  • Demonstrate that they are protecting children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by having clear and robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place that outline how the settings and those working directly with the children identify and manage risks.

  • Ensure that their safeguarding arrangements take into account the policies and procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

  • Make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and to challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism.

  • Ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet.

  • To understand own role and responsibilities on how to protect children from extremism.

  • Understand how to identify specific children at risk eg change in behaviour or absent from nursery for periods of time.

  • Know when and how to take action after identifying a child at risk.

  • Promote and embed fundamental British Values in the setting.

The promotion of inclusion and British Values are a toolkit of anti-radicalisation and settings should see these as linked not separate. We play a vital role in teaching tolerance of different faiths and backgrounds to children in their most formative years. In early years settings there are high adult/child ratios, keyworkers know their children well and build up close secure relationships with their parents.