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UCU responds to tackling violent extremism guidance for colleges

18 February 2009

Commenting on new guidance and a toolkit to deal with tackling violent extremism in UK colleges, UCU said today that it was pleased the government had taken a number of its concerns on board. But it warned there was no getting away from the fact that the emphasis on Muslim students would damage key work on community cohesion.

The union said it was pleased the new guidance made specific reference to the need for colleges to work with unions around any implementing any new policies on tackling violent extremism. It said it agreed with the guidance that there are more pressing issues in further education, such as gang violence, and urged the government to urgently address the everyday concerns of staff in our colleges.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'UCU, like the overwhelming majority of people, takes the threat of terrorism very seriously and has welcomed the emphasis the government has put on community cohesion in regards to tackling violent extremism. We also recognise the specific reference the new guidance makes about the need for colleges to work with the unions around any plans to implement new policies.
'However, as with the guidance for universities, we are concerned about the emphasis on the Muslim community. There is no getting away from the fact that the government's laudable plans for community cohesion will be damaged by the emphasis in the guidance on targeting colleges with large numbers of Muslim students. The guidance acknowledges that a bigger problem is gang violence and we believe the government needs to reassure colleges that it will be doing everything it can to properly support staff in further education.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015