The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 contains a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

The government has produced guidance (issued under section 29 of the Act) for specified authorities, which they must have regard to when complying with the duty. There are 2 versions of the guidance: one for authorities in England and Wales, and one for authorities in Scotland.

These guidance documents have been revised following a public consultation exercise which ended on 30 January 2015. A summary of responses to this consultation is available.

A commencement order for the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was made on 26 March 2015. This specifies that the ‘Prevent duty’ (i.e. section 26) of the act comes into force on 1 July 2015, save in respect of any specified authority to which section 31 (freedom of expression in universities etc) is expressed to apply.

In effect, this means that the duty will not commence on 1 July 2015 for the proprietor or governing body of any institution which provides further education (within the meaning given by section 2(3) of the Education Act 1996); or which provides courses of a description mentioned in Schedule 6 to the Education Reform Act 1988 (higher education courses). It will commence on 1 July 2015 for all other authorities specified in Schedule 6 to the act.

EPN will be running a workshop on this subject in the near future.

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