• Christine Mould
  • 26 January 2016

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults can provide challenging moral and legal responsibilities for individuals and organisations.

Under laws brought in in summer 2015, schools, prisons, the NHS and local authorities have a legal obligation, known as the "Prevent Duty", to spot individuals who might be vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation.

A total of 415 children aged 10 and under have been referred to the government's deradicalisation programme in England and Wales over the last four years and according to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) figures, 1,424 children aged 11-15 were also referred between January 2012 and December 2015.  The figures show that referrals are rising year on year.

In addition to these laws, the Department for Education announced a consultation in December 2015 to update the “Keeping Children Safe in Education” guidance (KCSiE). This consultation is set to strengthen a number of areas including the Prevent Duty and obligations placed on Heads and Governors to monitor student activity in the online environment. The guidance was updated in September 2018.

The revisions are designed to ensure that pupils are safeguarded from exposure to radical and extremism ideology in the school environment. Revisions to the guidelines will also use help to tackle other safeguarding issues associated with the digital environment such as cyberbullying and pornography.


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