Terrorism bill means nurseries 'must understand risk of radicalisation'

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Nursery staff will have a legal duty to spot potential terrorists, under a new bill before Parliament.

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Leaders must ensure all staff ‘understand the risk of radicalisation’

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill seeks to place a duty on the education sector, along with other authorities such as the police, to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.’

A consultation is now open on the accompanying draft guidance, which sets out the scope of this duty and other responsibilities associated with it.

Under the guidance, all registered early years childcare providers  and maintained nursery schools ‘should demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation in their area, institution or body. This risk will vary greatly and can change rapidly…. Whilst the type and scale of activity … will vary, all specified authorities will need to give due consideration to it.’

The strategy puts the onus on those in leadership positions, such as nursery owners and managers, to ensure all staff ‘understand the risk of radicalisation’, ‘build the capabilities to deal with it’, ‘communicate and promote the importance of the duty’, and ensure staff ‘implement the duty effectively.’

The move is part of the Prevent strategy, first published in 2011, to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

This duty follows changes made earlier this year to rules around funded places. Settings which fail to demonstrate ‘fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty

and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs’ will not receive local authority funding.

The consultation runs until noon on Friday 30 January 2015 and can be accessed here.

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