Formal referrals by higher education providers in England to Prevent, part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, have risen, according to new data from the Office for Students (OfS).
In 2019-20, higher education providers in England referred 37 individuals they believed may be at risk of radicalisation to local Prevent police, or the local authority – this is up from 15 in 2017-18 and 24 in 2018-19.
Formal referrals to Prevent – also known as Channel referrals, after the multi-agency programme which identifies and supports at-risk individuals in England and Wales – are made only after a provider’s student services team, and/or a designated safeguarding, welfare or Prevent lead, have become involved and external advice sought from Prevent partners, such as a Department for Education co-ordinator.
The sector-level data is drawn from providers’ accountability and data returns (ADRs) for academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Following referral by a higher education provider, the police and/or the local authority, the Channel panel will assess the nature and extent of the risk to an individual, and develop “the most appropriate support plan” for them.
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