Prevent policy

The ‘Prevent’ strategy, published by the Government in 2011, is part of an overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. 

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) imposes a duty on Education providers to « have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. » This is now commonly known as the ‘Prevent’ duty. 

The aim of the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

In this context, the following definitions have been applied: 

  • Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. This also includes calling for the death of members of the armed forces. 
  • Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.

1. What we must do to comply with our duty 

  • assess the risks associated with people being drawn into terrorism and access the context of their local situation and draw up a proportionate action plan to mitigate those identified risks
  • have responsive, effective welfare support systems, ensuring concerns about students’ wellbeing can be acted on in a jointed up way, drawing on links to local Prevent structures (such as local authorities or the police) if necessary
  • have systems in place for assessing and mitigating risks around external speakers and events on campus, while maintaining the existing duty to promote freedom of speech
  • ensure all members of staff and in particular senior management are engaged with the Prevent duty and arrange ongoing Prevent training for relevant staff
  • implement an IT usage policy which covers the Prevent duty
  • ensure that students’ unions and societies are aware of and are consulted on policies concerning activities on campus.

2. Scope

EM Normandie UK Limited (hereafter ‘EMN’ or ‘the school’), understands its primary responsibility under the ‘Prevent’ strategy to be the safeguarding and welfare of our students and staff. Our Prevent policy and duty therefore applies to all in the EMN community: students, staff, including those working under service contracts, visitors and external speakers, that is to say:

  • All persons (whether academic staff or otherwise) whose normal place of work is on the premises of the EMN UK campus
  • All registered students at all times including in the context of their involvement with Student Associations 
  • Any other person who use the school’s facilities even if they are not directly associated with EMN

The activities of staff and students which take place away from the school’s premises will also fall within this policy if they are or are perceived to be associated with EMN.

3. Application

  • Every manager and staff member has a personal responsibility to understand this policy. The school’s permanent employees will be asked to complete a free ‘Prevent’ training module accessible via www.elearning.prevent.homeoffice.gov.uk, to help them identify and, if necessary, refer students  who may be at risk of radicalisation. 
  • The Board of Directors and the EMN UK Management Team have a responsibility for implementing this policy and for ensuring that in doing so, EMN will not discriminate on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age.

In fulfilling its ‘Prevent’ duties, EMN will defend and up-hold academic freedom and free speech in line with its corresponding policies.

4. Process of Radicalisation

The Institute of Strategic Dialogue defines radicalisation as ‘the process through which an individual changes from passivity or activism, to become more revolutionary, militant or extremist, especially where there is intent towards, or support for, violence.

Driving factors behind radicalisation can include

  • a lack of integration and/or polarisation
  • an identity crisis and/or isolation
  • the political and/or democratic disenfranchisement of an individual
  • the experience of discrimination
  • foreign policy and/or international crises or disputes
  • political movements
  • ideologies or faiths

Contributing factors

Vulnerability, isolation and personal grievances added to strong political, religious of social views, can result in a person searching for a cause. People can become vulnerable for many reasons, including

  • low self-esteem
  • a feeling of guilt
  • loss
  • isolation
  • family breakdowns
  • fears and anxieties
  • a lack of purpose
  • anger
  • peer pressure

Vulnerabilities or susceptibilities may make it easier for extremists to target the individual in an attempt to radicalise them. Persons who are being targeted may show signs of changes in their behaviour. 

Signs that may cause concern

  • Students talking about exposure to extremist materials or views outside the school
  • Changes in behaviour, e.g. becoming isolated
  • Fall in standard of work, poor attendance, disengagement
  • Changes in attitude, e.g. intolerant of differences/ having closed mind
  • Offering opinions that appear to have come from extremist ideologies
  • Attempts to impose own views/ beliefs and intolerance toward, those of others
  • Use of extremist vocabulary attempts to exclude others or incite violence
  • Accessing extremist material online or via social network sites
  • Overt new religious practices
  • Display of drawings or posters showing extremist ideology/ views/ symbols
  • Students voicing concerns about anyone

5. What we can do to counteract the risk of radicalisation

  • Promote a safe and supportive international environment via clear expectations of accepted behaviours and those, including radicalisation and extremism, that will not be tolerated
  • Promote core British values through documents given to students, notices around the school
  • Encourage and develop critical awareness and thought to counter accepting extremism without question, especially of online material
  • Challenge radical or extremist views in any context (formal or informal) 
  • Be ready to react when world or local events (e.g. Paris attacks) cause upset and the likelihood of conflicting feelings being expressed. Prevent lead to take initiative in these situations.
  • Have strong filters on IT equipment and clear rules on accessing extremist/ terrorist websites/uses of social networks to exchange extremist/ terrorist views 
  • Ensure that extremist speakers do not use premises to distribute material or expound views; have system for vetting any visiting speakers/ presenters
  • Encourage contact with students in the school, getting to know them will make it easier to spot changes in their behaviour
  • Staff to be observant and vigilant in noticing any signs of radical or extremist behaviour

6. What to do if you believe someone to be at risk of radicalisation

There is no single profile or indication of a person who is likely to become involved in terrorist-related activity. The factors surrounding exploitation are many and they are unique for each person.

 ‘Notice – Check – Share’ is a simple 3-step procedure which should be followed if you have concerns about someone being radicalised:

 (i) Notice – articulate your concerns , consider 

  • engagement – Is there any information to indicate that the individual is showing any signs of becoming involved with a group, cause or ideology that justifies the use of violence and other illegal conduct in pursuit of its objectives? 
  • intent – Is there any information supporting that the individual has indicated that they may be willing to use violence or other illegal means? 
  • capability – Is there any information supporting what the individual may be capable of doing?

(ii) Check – Who can help you to put your concerns into context? 

If your concerns are about a student, in the first instance, you may want to discuss the issue with another colleague who knows the student well. This could be the  Link Officer, the Head of Programme or the Principal. It may then be decided to share the concerns with the student’s parents and the student her or himself. However, this should always be discussed with and agreed to by the Principal and/or DSL  (Designated Safeguarding Lead) before any action is taken. 

If your concerns are about a colleague, contractor or visitor: please approach the Principal or DSL directly. 

(iii) Share – Who is qualified to take this forward? 

The Principal and/or DSL. It may be decided to make a referral to Mash (the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) to allow the individual to access the Multi Agency’s Programme ‘Channel’. This is shared by local authority. It is a voluntary, confidential programme which, with the person’s or their parents’ consent, will seek to provide support and counselling and help to put in place strategies to assist the individual. 

Remember: such a matter must be dealt with sensibly and any action taken aims to protect and support the individual and must be kept confidential. 

7. Visitors and visiting speakers

This applies to all visitors and visiting speakers, whether invited by EMN or students 

  • visitors and visiting speakers have to sign in at the main office of EMN 
  • they will be given a visitors’ pass and asked to wear this at all times
  • visiting speakers and other visitors who can provide an original, clean enhanced DBS check (incl. Section 142, CH & A Barring and ‘Other’) not older than 12 months upon arrival, may circulate in the school and address student groups on their own. 
  • visiting speakers and other visitors without this DBS information have to be accompanied during their time in the school by a fully vetted member of staff and are only allowed to address groups where all students are 18 or older on their own. 

If addressing groups of students where under 18 year olds are present, the session has to be attended by a fully vetted member of staff. 

The College will also obtain such formal or informal background information about a visiting speaker as is reasonable in the circumstances to decide whether to invite and/or permit a speaker to attend the school.

Making a Prevent referral  and useful contact details

EM Normandie – Oxford

  • Principal and DSL: Dr. Miriam Schmidkonz, 
    Tel: 01865 681 407/412 
  • Assistant DSL:
    Tel:  Birgit Muller & Emma Pruszewicz
  • Link Officer: Jean-Louis Evèque
    Tel : +33 6 7 64 29 88 58 (via Whatsapp)

MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub)

  • Tel: 0345 050 766 
    E-mail: socialandhealthcare@oxfordshire.gov.uk
  • Thames Valley Police (Oxfordshire Prevent Co-ordinator)
    E-mail: preventreferrals@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk