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Prevent Guidance

An introduction to Prevent Legislation

At Newcastle University there are many different strands to our wellbeing provision, one of which is to safeguard our students from being drawn into terrorism or being subject to radicalisation.

To achieve this, we work closely with external agencies and in line with the Prevent Legislation to create an open and inclusive learning environment, where the wellbeing of our students and colleagues is of upmost concern.

The associated video provides you with an introduction to the Prevent Legislation. 

Prevent is one of four work strands which make up the government's counter-terrorism strategy:


  • focuses on detecting, investigating and disrupting terrorist threats to the UK and our interests overseas.


  • aims to reduce the vulnerability of the UK and UK interests overseas to terrorist attack. This includes aviation security for both cargo and passengers.


  • aims to minimise the impact of any attack, manage any incidence of an ongoing attack and recover quickly and effectively


  • aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism

Prevent will :

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced by the UK from those who promote it
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Work with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health) where there are risks of radicalisation which need to be addressed

About Prevent Guidance

Higher education institutions have a duty of care to students, colleagues and visitors. Prevent has introduced a new statutory duty for higher education institutions:

  • to have due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism
  • to draw upon skills and networks already in place for other areas of safeguarding

Awareness of Prevent involves an understanding of the strategy itself as well as the wider legal context within which universities must operate including:

  • the Education Act (No.2) 1986
  • the Education Reform Act 1988
  • the Equality Act 2010

Universities must balance a wide-ranging set of responsibilities. Universities are open institutions with a legal obligation to promote and facilitate academic freedom and freedom of speech. However, these are qualified rights. However, section 31 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act states:

  • that in meeting the statutory duty, higher education institutions must have particular regard to the duty to ensure freedom of speech and the importance of academic freedom

Registrar's Introduction

The Prevent legislation placed a new legal requirement on all higher education institutions and many other public bodies and authorities to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

In this short video our Registrar, Dr John Hogan, introduces Prevent and answers these key questions:

  • what it is?
  • how it affects us a university?
  • how we can balance it with our commitment to academic freedom and the anticipated impact?

External speakers

Newcastle University enjoys an open environment where academic freedom and freedom of speech are fundamental:

  • where debate, challenge and opposing views are encouraged
  • where ideas that may be controversial and offensive to some are likely to be expressed

Academic freedom is fundamental to our strategic goals, teaching and research.

But all freedoms have limits imposed by law, in order to protect the rights and freedoms of others. The rules are neither simple nor always easy to apply. However, the University has produced new, and reviewed existing, policies and arrangements linked to the headline OFS requirements. This includes:

What should I do if I have any concern?

The University views Prevent concerns as a wellbeing need. As with any wellbeing concern, if you are worried about a colleague or a student please contact us using the details below. The team will hear your concerns, provide support and advice.

With guidance from the Director of Student Health and Wellbeing and appropriate People Services colleagues, will take any safeguarding action required.

For urgent concerns that cannot wait until the next working day, please call Univeristy Security: 0191 208 6817.


At Newcastle University we encourage everyone to understand the role they can play in keeping us safe. To ensure this we offer training opportunities:

  • for our colleagues via our Learning Management System (LMS) (Please note, only registered Newcastle University colleagues will be able to access and complete the Prevent training)
  • for all members of our University community via the Home Office