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Securitising education: an exploration of teachers’ attitudes and experiences regarding the implementation of the Prevent duty in sixth form colleges


critical studies on terrorismJournal abstract

The government’s counterterrorism policy, known as CONTEST, has four components: Pursue, Protect, Prepare and Prevent. The Counterterrorism and Security Act in 2015 led to changes to Prevent by placing a legal duty on frontline staff, such as teachers, to enact Prevent in schools and colleges. Currently, the impact of these changes is not well understood, and the present study explores the attitudes and experiences of sixth form college teachers regarding the implementation of the Prevent duty. Fourteen participants across three London colleges took part in semi-structured interviews regarding their training experiences, the implementation of the Prevent duty, knowledge about radicalisation and extremism, and teaching British values. Thematic analysis of the interview transcripts revealed five main themes: training experiences; reporting students; confidence; the association of Islam with Prevent; and protecting students. This study discusses possible changes to Prevent’s implementation in educational settings and the development of community out-reach programmes. In addition, it suggests future research directions, such as empirical research on the effectiveness of de-radicalisation programmes.

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