The TES is reporting that the fear of Ofsted leaves teachers searching for excuses to refer pupils to anti-extremism programme.
Conservative Lucy Allan, who is also a school governor, said teachers are sitting around thinking up scenarios which might justify referring a pupil.
Children who have been taken on anti-badger-cull marches or Fathers4Justice demonstrations are being suggested for referral, Ms Allan warned.
Leading a Westminster Hall debate on the topic this afternoon, Ms Allan said: “Prevent has moved, under the 2015 Act, from a cooperative and voluntary act of the community into a statutory duty, and I think therein lies the problem – the statutory duty.
“Because a failure to meet a statutory duty can have negative consequences, for example for teachers in schools where Ofsted will assess whether the duty has been met and a grading will be delivered with the achievement of complying with this statutory duty.
She added: “And as a school governor I have seen that there is an incentive to make referrals under Prevent, because if you don’t there’s a sense that you might get into trouble, or that might have a negative impact on your school, or as a teacher it might have a negative impact on your career.”
This has resulted in an “exponential increase” in the number of referrals, with one child a week under the age of 10 being reported, MPs heard.
Do you think teachers are being too cautious when referring children under Prevent? Surely it’s better to be safe than sorry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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