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Relevant higher education bodies should submit the first annual report by Thursday 1 December 2016, Wednesday 1 February 2017 or Monday 3 April 2017, depending on the category they fall into. (This excludes further education colleges, whose Prevent duty is monitored by Ofsted.)

Executive summary

Purpose

1. This updated monitoring framework sets out how HEFCE will monitor providers’ implementation of the statutory ‘Prevent duty’ in the higher education sector in England. Relevant higher education bodies will need to follow this framework to demonstrate due regard to the duty. The framework also sets out how we will support institutions and enable the effective sharing of experience and good practice.

2. Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, relevant higher education bodies (RHEBs) must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (the Prevent duty). HEFCE is responsible for monitoring whether RHEBs are demonstrating due regard to the Prevent duty.

3. This updated monitoring framework was issued on 20 September 2016. This supersedes ‘The Prevent duty: Monitoring framework for the higher education sector’ (HEFCE 2015/32), published in November 2015.

Key points

4. This framework is for:

  • Prevent leads, senior management and governing bodies of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
  • Prevent leads, senior management, governing bodies and proprietors of other relevant higher education bodies in England, specifically:
    • alternative providers that are subject to specific course designation processes administered by HEFCE
    • other providers that offer higher education to more than 250 students and are not monitored by either the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) or the Department for Education (DfE)
    • the autonomous colleges, schools and halls of the Universities of Cambridge, Durham and Oxford.

By ‘proprietor’ we mean the individual or individuals with strategic oversight of an RHEB’s activities, including ultimate responsibility for its financial management.

5. To be assessed as ‘having due regard’ for the Prevent duty, all RHEBs must have robust policies and processes in place which respond to the Prevent statutory guidance, and must demonstrate that they are actively implementing these policies.

6. All providers will need to submit a short annual report every year, summarising any relevant evidence which demonstrates their continuing active and effective implementation of the Prevent duty.

7. The deadline for submitting the first annual report is Thursday 1 December 2016 for all HEFCE-funded providers excluding the autonomous colleges, schools and halls of the Universities of Cambridge, Durham and Oxford; Wednesday 1 February 2017 for alternative providers with specific course designation; and Monday 3 April 2017 for the Universities of Cambridge, Durham and Oxford, the autonomous colleges, schools and halls of those universities, and other providers that offer higher education to more than 250 students.

8. Thereafter, annual reports should be submitted by all HEFCE-funded providers by 1 December each year and for alternative providers (including other providers) by 1 February.

9. HEFCE will carry out face-to-face Prevent reviews on the basis of risk where we have particular concerns.

10. Providers will also need to report to HEFCE as soon as possible:

  • any material changes to policies which HEFCE has previously assessed (such as a significantly change to information technology policy as it relates to Prevent)
  • any significant changes of circumstance impacting on the provider’s Prevent responsibilities (such as a change in Prevent lead)
  • any serious Prevent-related incidents as outlined in Section 3.

Outcomes

11. Providers will be assessed as having ‘due regard’ to the duty if they satisfactorily demonstrate that they both:

  • have appropriate policies and processes in place in response to the Prevent statutory guidance
  • are following these policies and processes in practice.

Reporting by HEFCE to Government

12. HEFCE will report on a periodic basis to the Department for Education and will publish annual updates on our monitoring work. We may also report to Government on an ad hoc basis, including where an institution has been found not to be demonstrating due regard to the duty following the procedures outlined in Sections 3 and 4.

Supporting good practice

13. We will work with Government, providers and key sector stakeholders to develop the Prevent agenda further, ensure its effective implementation of and foster an environment of continuous improvement. This will include co-ordinating workshops and facilitating the sharing of good practice, supplemented by visits to providers where appropriate to gather further feedback on any new issues and practices. With input and advice from our external advisory group, HEFCE will evaluate the effectiveness of this monitoring framework and of HEFCE’s role as monitor during 2017, approximately a year after the start of our activity in relation to the duty. This may result in changes to the monitoring framework for future years; we will of course give providers sufficient notice of any changes which affect them.

Office for Students

14. The Higher Education and Research Bill, currently before Parliament, will create a new single regulatory body for higher education, the Office for Students. Should the Bill pass through Parliament, HEFCE’s regulatory functions will transfer to this new body, including responsibility for monitoring of the Prevent duty. This revised framework has been developed in line with the principles of the Office for Students’ proposed regulatory approach.

Further information

15. Further information is available through the HEFCE website at www.hefce.ac.uk/reg/prevent/.

16. Every institution has a named Prevent Adviser at HEFCE. A list of the advisers and their contact details can be found at www.hefce.ac.uk/contact/. Generic queries can be sent to prevent@hefce.ac.uk.

17. Support and guidance can also be accessed through the network of Department for Education Further Education and Higher Education Prevent Coordinators. Details of the Coordinators can be found at www.hefce.ac.uk/contact/.

Date: 20 September 2016

Ref: HEFCE 2016/24

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Heads of other relevant higher education bodies

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Governance; Administration; Student services; Information technology; Security; Chaplaincy; Students’ unions; Higher education policy; Counter-terrorism policy

Enquiries should be directed to:

HEFCE Prevent team, email prevent@hefce.ac.uk