Myerscough College has been invited to the Netherlands later this year to share best practice about implementing Prevent, the government anti-terrorism strategy.
Myerscough’s Bernard Pendleton, Director of Student Support, is the College’s Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding, and is responsible for the delivery of Prevent training to all staff. As DSL, Bernard oversees a group of fifteen trained DSPs (Designated Senior Persons) and support staff who assist with all aspects of safeguarding.
It’s Bernard’s role to ensure the College is compliant in all related policies, procedures and practices and also associated legislation. In addition, the Prevent message is delivered to all academic and support staff by way of ongoing WRAP (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent) training, a Home Office accredited scheme designed to tackle the problem of terrorism at its roots, preventing people, in this case students, from supporting terrorism or becoming involved in terrorism themselves.
Bernard has now been invited to take part in an Association of Colleges Erasmus+ Study Visit to the Netherlands, where Myerscough will be used as an example of best practice, and will be discussed as part of a programme with partners and other members in the sector.
Bernard says: ‘’This sort of training is a key part of my responsibility. Ensuring staff are fully trained in Prevent is an integral part of the comprehensive safeguarding programme undertaken at Myerscough College. All further education providers have a duty to safeguard their students, and Prevent is about keeping them both safe and within the law.
‘’It’s not about preventing students from having political and religious views and concerns, but about supporting them to use those concerns or act on them in non-extremist ways. We actively engage with other partners, as appropriate, including police and local authority Prevent co-ordinators, as well as sharing information across the relevant curriculum areas within the College.
‘’Myerscough’s pastoral care, welfare and support is rated as outstanding and plays a vital role in meeting and exceeding National Minimum Care Standard expectations. Prevent is a major part of this.’’
Myerscough has already implemented a number of other policies and activities regarding Prevent and general safeguarding for both staff and students. In addition to staff WRAP workshops and the establishment of key sector partners, these include; online Prevent training for all applicants to the College; the development of an online student course that incorporates safeguarding, Prevent, British Values, EDI and health and safety; rigorous procedures for external speakers and guests who engage directly with students; the creation of contemplation and multi-faith rooms on campus; and an ongoing leaflet and poster campaign.
Bernard adds: ‘’As well as my role of Director of Student Support & Welfare, I also sit on the National Education Training Foundation (ETF) Prevent Steering Group, and as such already promote and share good practice both internally and externally. In addition, I am a FE representative on the Lancashire, Wyre & Fylde Children’s Partnership Board.
‘’I’m looking forward to debating, sharing and learning new techniques with colleagues from across the EU, so that we’ll be able to continue to exceed our legal obligations in respect of preventing people with us at Myerscough being drawn into any form of terrorism.’’
Myerscough already engages in a number of other European projects and initiatives, including two current projects funded by Erasmus+. The College also has a number of international students enrolled on a range of study programmes.
Bernard will visit the Netherlands in May.
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by Dave Salmon