• New quiz to help assess staff understanding of Prevent duty

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    Mubina Asaria (pictured), Online Safeguarding Consultant at edtech charity LGfL-The National Grid for Learning, discusses the free and widely welcomed Prevent Quiz for Staff 2024

    LGfL always strives to make training as accessible, dynamic and responsive as possible to the needs of leaders, teachers and staff. During Prevent duty training sessions with leadership and Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) we received lots of questions about assessing staff understanding, identifying individual staff in need of additional support, and documenting and evidencing safeguarding training for Ofsted inspections. So, in response to this, we developed the free Prevent Quiz for Staff 2024.

    The multiple choice quiz consists of 25 questions based around the Home Office’s recently updated Prevent duty guidance (2023) and the Department for Education’s (DfE) Keeping Children Safe in Education. It’s designed to ensure that individual staff have a solid understanding of the mandatory safeguarding information, and the skills necessary to apply their knowledge in response to real life situations within the context of the school.

    Initially, we contacted our colleagues at the Department for Education (DfE) and they fully supported the idea. We then formulated the questions, and shared them with the DfE to gather feedback and check they covered all the relevant key areas.

    We also wanted to ensure the training was not perceived as a tick-box exercise. Rather than expecting everyone to understand everything in just one INSET day, the quiz enables DSLs to identify gaps in understanding and address these areas during regular safeguarding briefings, as part of a more effective drip-feed approach

    The quiz consists of twenty five questions in the form of scenarios and statements, and participants decide on the best responses to the situation, following the Prevent duty guidance. In reality, if staff need to address these kinds of situations during the school day, there’s little time to react, and it can be difficult. The scenarios help build confidence and instead of just checking knowledge acquisition, the quiz focuses on applying understanding.

    The scenarios are formulated around situations that staff at schools may have encountered before, and that teachers have raised concerns about, during our discussions with school leaders.

    It’s important to remember that any staff member may be placed in that real life situation – admin staff in reception, the caretaker or perhaps a teaching assistant. Therefore it’s important to provide opportunities for staff to consider the situation in a real life context, so they can learn, reflect, think critically and apply their knowledge.

    For example:

    ‘You overhear a pupil talking about a video he’s seen of a terrorist attack. His friends ask him to share it on their WhatsApp group so they can watch it. What can you say to him? 

    • That by forwarding terrorist content, he could be committing the offence of disseminating terrorist materials, which could make him liable to arrest and prosecution
    • That by looking at it, he is playing into the terrorist’s hands because this is exactly what they want
    • That the content could be very graphic, violent and intimidating, which could be emotionally distressing to him and others
    • All of the above.

    The online quiz is available on any device, and once completed, the participant receives immediate feedback.

    Staff then share their results with the DSL, building an overall picture which highlights the areas that need to be explored in greater depths across the school and in smaller groups, or sign-posting individual members of staff to relevant resources. Safeguarding training is not ‘one-size-fits-all’; the quiz provides a simple way to ensure staff have a good grasp of a situation that is continuously becoming more complex.

    Although the updated Prevent Duty Guidance, which came into effect in January 2024, places no new legal requirements or additional responsibilities on education settings, the changes provide greater clarity and practical advice to mirror good practice in fulfilling the Prevent duty. This includes adopting a proportionate approach to risk and reducing exposure to radicalising influences, whether it is through the curriculum, visiting speakers or IT policies.

    The risk and threat landscape has also changed significantly. With the prevalence of online radicalisation, current research suggests that the internet has become the ‘preferred’ avenue for those searching for terrorist propaganda or contacts, and makes it much simpler for individuals or groups to promote and to consume radicalising content. With this in mind, the quiz comprises both offline and online scenarios that staff may encounter, with the aim of creating an environment where radicalising ideologies are challenged and are not permitted to flourish.

    Whilst established terrorist narratives exhibit common themes such as antisemitism, misogyny, antiestablishment, religious grievances or ethnic superiority, conspiracy theories can also act as gateways to radicalised thinking and sometimes violence.

    The Prevent Staff Quiz is proving a real hit with schools. In the first month we received over 3000 anonymised responses and the take up of the quiz is a positive sign it’s fulfilling its remit.

    Further evaluations and a summary of data strengths, weaknesses and key gap analysis is planned, alongsideconsidering other questions or necessary additions. The quiz will be updated with any further trends or changes in the 2024 publication of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) at the beginning of the next academic year.

    Safeguarding is about joining the dots, so we plan to create a resource for parents, to make as comprehensive and complete a support package as possible, to safeguard our children and young people.


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