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UCU response to report on anti-terror strategy Prevent in schools and colleges

3 July 2017 | last updated: 12 July 2017

Commenting on the findings of a report looking at the controversial anti-terror programme 'Prevent', UCU said the government should conduct proper research into its effectiveness.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We are not alone in raising concerns about the effectiveness of Prevent. Our universities and colleges must remain centres for debate and open discussion, where received wisdom can be challenged and controversial ideas put forward in the spirit of academic endeavour.

'This report again raises the issue of increased stigmatisation of Muslim students and the bizarre focus on "British values". There is a risk that closing down debate drives a subject underground, and makes people less likely to speak up or out.

'Some of the subjects up for debate may be difficult ones, but shying away from them is no way to deal with any issue. The government could lead by example and commission an independent report into the impact and effectiveness of Prevent in schools, colleges and universities.'

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