Prevent for Schools

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2nd April 23
Trail : home : P4S Background


This section provides a background to the P4S site and resources along with information... 

Additional information not covered below can also be found in the 'FAQs / Help' section accessed via the tabs above.   


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In 2008, the then Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) launched ‘Learning Together to be Safe’ – a toolkit to help schools contribute to the prevention of violent extremism and the Government’s ‘Prevent Strategy’.

In 2011 the Government reviewed CONTEST and the Prevent Strategy in particular. The focus changed and the objectives were revised as follows:

  • respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it
  • prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  • work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address

The aim of ‘Prevent’ is to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists and to do this by challenging ideologies, protecting vulnerable individuals and supporting institutions, such as schools. It is part of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST.

In early 2009, Lancashire Secondary schools were invited to seminars, held in Preston, to seek their views. Research was also conducted with Independent Schools. The feedback was:-

  • That the toolkit was not really a toolkit i.e. there were no actual resources to use,
  • Some teachers felt lacking in confidence to deal with these sensitive topics
  • There were concerns about where these subjects fitted into the demands of the curriculum and discussions on how ‘Prevent’ could be covered within safeguarding frameworks.
  • Some schools felt that related issues such as diversity, citizenship and discussion of events occurring nationally and globally were already covered particularly within the PHSE/SEAL/ECM agendas and a few felt that’ Prevent’ was not for them.

The ‘Lancashire Prevent in Education’ group was formed from relevant partners. This group included partners from Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council together with FE and other representatives.  

At the outset, the group was assisted by a number of volunteer schools who offered to support this work and look at the issues involved locally.  A number of resources were developed by Lancashire Constabulary, partners and providers. These resources were trialled by some of the ‘Champion Schools’. Other Counties showed interest in the work and the products were initially launched across the North West in a hard copy resource folder, with DVD’s inside.

A review of the resources highlighted that these original packs which remain available, were not universally accessible for all schools.  In consequence, it was decided to re-produce the materials online and establish what materials schools including those Primary, HE and FE establishments would like to see.

This activity resulted in the original Prevent for Schools (P4S) website being launched in July 2012, initially with a Key Stage 3/4 focus.  Further progression quickly identified the absence of quality Primary-focussed resources which were subsequently developed by Lancashire colleagues and launched in May 2013*.  Since this time, the P4S site has seen a steady growth across the resources with materials being used across the NW region by both Primary and Secondary colleagues.  In 2014, a significant rise in traffic to the site from across the UK was seen and the popularity of P4S has continued to grow since.


In 2015, further to the requirements of Section 29 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, the Government revised the Prevent Duty, outlining the statutory duties placed on a variety of specified authorities (including Schools) and re-iterating the three strategic objectives of Prevent originally outlined in the 2011 iteration.

Further details of the Prevent Duty 2015 can be found via the 'Useful Information' section on P4S.



In line with the revised Prevent Duty, in 2015 the DfE issued non-statutory departmental advice for schools and childcare providers to help recipients understand the implications of the duty and:

• explain what the Prevent duty means for schools and childcare providers;

• make clear what schools and childcare providers should do to demonstrate compliance with the duty; and

• inform schools and childcare providers about other sources of information, advice and support.

Included within the departmental advice are sections on:

• Risk Assessment;  • Working in Partnership; • Staff Training; • IT Policies; • Building Children’s Resilience; • What to do if you have a concern

Further information on the DfE Departmental Advice is available via the 'Useful Information' section of P4S.

Whilst continuing to prove immensely popular, the P4S site was identified to be refreshed in order to maintain currency and reflect the changing landscape of extremism and radicalisation.  With the support of district colleagues across the Lancashire region, this work was undertaken in early 2016 resulting in the current iteration.  In reviewing the content, it was essential to retain as much of the original material as possible whilst updating the advice and guidance sections to reflect recent updates for school-based colleagues.


* It should be noted that publications referenced on this website may have been published by previous Governments and might therefore not reflect the current policy and guidance.