Prevent Strategy

NUT Conference 2017

18 April 2017

Commenting after the debate on Motion 46Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT thinks the lack of confidence in aspects of the Government’s Prevent strategy is undeniable.

“Prevent reinforces an ‘us’ and ‘them’ view of the world which divides communities and sows mistrust of British Muslims. It should be replaced by strategies based on dialogue, transparency and openness. 

“The most sensitive and high-profile aspect of Prevent is the operation of the Prevent duty in schools and colleges. The NUT believes the Government should withdraw schools and colleges from the Prevent duty. We hope the Government will work not only with the teaching profession, but also safeguarding experts and curriculum experts to design a better strategy for supporting young people to stay safe, identify risks, think critically and debate controversial issues.

“Teachers want an education system which enables children and young people to think for themselves but act for others, within our multicultural society. Children need imagination, understanding and curiosity. We need safe spaces in schools, overseen by highly skilled teachers who can enable an informed and reflective discussion about some very difficult, highly emotive questions. Prevent has made too many children and teachers wary of open debate and discussion in schools. 

“The NUT will continue to monitor the impact of the Prevent duty in schools.”

Editor’s Note

The NUT’s Annual Conference is taking place this Easter weekend in Cardiff. For the Final Agenda, please visit