What is Prevent?
We're so glad you asked! Prevent is a policy that forces teachers, NHS workers, social workers and many other professions to work for the Home Office. But it doesn't work and causes a lot of damage.
Teachers are forced to report their students for saying anything 'radical'. Same goes for doctors, social workers, university staff etc.
But why is this bad?
There is no evidence that this works in terms of 'de-radicalising' children, but countless examples of children being traumatised by the Prevent system itself.
A 10 year old boy was referred after writing in English class that he lived in a 'terrorist house' because he misspelt the word terraced.... A 4 year old was referred for drawing a picture of his dad cutting up a cucumber. The teacher misheard 'cutting a cucumber' and thought he said making a 'cooker bomb'.
Prevent Policy is deemed a 'safeguarding' tool to protect young people. But if a person is referred to Prevent, they are kept on police records, even if their case is dropped. Prevent is not about protecting the person referred, but about
How did is start?
Prevent became compulsory in all schools after the 2014 Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair. This was the alleged 'plot' of 'Islamist' teachers in Birmingham Schools. There is now a great deal of evidence that the plot was a hoax, and the cases against the teachers were dropped - they were never charged.
Find out more about Trojan Horse and the inception of Prevent by reading the play Trojan Horse (gathered from 200 hours of interviews with those involved). Or you can
read Professor John Holmwood's book about the case, which he wrote after being an expert witness during the trials for the defence.
How can I find out more?
We highly recommend visiting Prevent Digest for more reading around Prevent and the damage it causes.