Blog – Prevent Duty, a quick look at what it means for my school.
Hi and thanks for reading in this edition of our blog; we’d like to give you some facts about prevent to help your organisation perform its duty.
Please share with anyone that may find it useful.
What is Prevent Duty?
This updated legislation was introduced in the UK on 1st July 2015 as part of “Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
The legislation is a further push from central government to pass on responsibility to organisations in the public sector in preventing the spread of radicalisation within their organisations.
What is already in place – if anything?
All of our customers schools have protected internet connections that filter content delivered to the school no matter which ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides the connection.
The wording in the prevent guidance issued by central government only refers to internet filtering currently however we believe that this requirement will tighten up in time as this alone does not cover your schools ‘prevent duty’. There is currently no audit trail of what was blocked and for which user. Clues that can be captured within the school setting might provide evidence or other useful feedback to partner organisations such as Police or local authority.
The first line of defence is that the filtering systems put in place by ISPs ‘block’ access to content such as webpages or download files that the providers know about, there is always the risk of a day zero scenario where a new website or YouTube video may slip through the net.
The second line of defence is by filtering ‘keywords’ entered into a search engine not just the resultant websites. This however is being made more difficult for the internet providers to achieve, Google have already decided to encrypt all traffic that uses their facilities. For the search terms to be checked for any type of misuse or incorrect behavior internet providers have to decrypt that traffic. Some internet providers currently have that facility Exa Networks & RM are examples, some simply chose to rely on the webpage filtering and will allow any ‘keywords’ to be searched.
Because all of the devices in any given school access the internet via the same connection they all receive at least the first line of protection.
What else can I do to help prevent radicalisation or any other form of misuse of the IT system in my school?
Most schools already make an annual subscription to future digital (formerly forensic software) which entitles them to the latest version (Version 6) of their software. This software makes captures of searches, images, text typed in by users that contain certain material that is deemed inappropriate. Version 6 has updates relevant to the prevent legislation as well as the other features that are standard in version 5.
There is not a supported upgrade path to move schools from version 5 to version 6, version 5 has to be removed and then version 6 installed along with some prerequisite components. In some cases schools will need extra support time to test and complete the upgrade process.
To get the most out of this software pupils must be logged into devices using their own login name and password – this then provides a capture of the date & time of an incident, the content of the incident and the user & computer they were logged onto.
A standard future digital subscription does not cover tablets & iPads, these require an additional product to be purchased and installed.
There are other providers that make this type of monitoring software, we’ve used this as an example as it is used widely used by Stoke & Staffordshire schools currently.
What about good old fashioned e-safety?
E-Safety is as always still a very big part of keeping children safe online, teaching the basics of staying safe online.
If you need more information about e-Safety or you think that your school needs to tighten up its e-Safety teaching and or practice there are several external links below. You can also speak to your evolve technician about extra support and training.
What does all this mean for my school?
As an organisation you will have already assessed the risk of radicalisation which will help you make ensure that the right decisions are made about the IT aspects.
Evolve IT Support are here to help you get the right degree of protection for your organisation & pupils.
Some questions that might help you:
Does my Internet Service Provider offer keyword filtering on encrypted search sites such as google?
Exa Networks & RM do currently offer this facility, we can’t speak for others.
Having assessed the overall risk to my school with regards to radicalisation of pupils do I need an audit trail of IT system misuse?
If yes then future digital software version 6 is a good option, this can be installed by Evolve IT Support, extra support time may be required to do so.
Do the staff at my school need to be protected by audit trail? Should we install future digital software on their equipment?
This depends on the degree of risk to your organisation, you can protect your staff by using future digital with prevent legislation in mind, but this does also install by default all of the other features which might make some staff feel that big brother is watching. Future digital support can help turn off some features however.
Do I need captures from my schools tablets and iPads as well as laptops and PCs?
Again based on the assessment of risk and what the devices are actually used for this is a decision personal to your school. Unfortunately this facility comes at an additional cost.
Remember – We’re here to KEEP YOU CONNECTED, please ask if you need any help or advice.
Government Prevent Guidance.
Future Digital – iPads.
Future Digital – PCE Version 6.
Exa Networks – Content filtering
360 e-safety – Baseline, Training & Consultancy.
Safer Internet – free resources and information for teachers, parents and children.