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The University's Prevent duty

The University’s Prevent duty

The University Executive Board, at its meeting on 3 October, approved the following policies. These relate to the ‘Prevent duty’, a statutory requirement imposed by the UK Government on certain public bodies, which includes universities.

It requires the University of Reading to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (the ‘Prevent’ duty).

As part of the requirements placed on the University, staff with certain roles or responsibilities will be required to undertake mandatory training. Those required to undertake this training, some of which is online training, will be contacted about this in due course.


Policy on access by staff and students to security-sensitive material

The University has introduced a new policy and associated procedures on access to security-sensitive material, which includes material which might be thought to encourage or glorify the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism, and material which would be useful in such acts. The new policy and procedures will assist the University in meeting the ‘Prevent’ duty. 

The policy and procedures will help to safeguard students, staff and the public, and will enable research and study involving security-sensitive material to continue. By putting in place procedures such as these, the University is better able to uphold the principle of academic freedom whilst complying with its legal obligations under the Prevent duty.

The policy and procedures were approved by the University Executive Board on 3 October with immediate effect, and apply to both staff and students. Staff and students wishing to access security-sensitive material in connection with their University-related work, whether studies, teaching or research, are required to seek approval through the following routes:

  • Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students: School Director of Teaching and Learning and then a Designated Teaching and Learning Dean (Dr Carter, with the other Teaching and Learning Deans acting as alternates)
  • Postgraduate research students: School Director of Postgraduate Research Studies and then the Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies
  • Staff: Head of School and then the Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies.

In order to fulfil our various obligations, access to these materials may be subject to conditions on how and where such material can be accessed and stored.

Staff and students who are already accessing such materials are required to seek approval not later than 1 December. Staff who are aware of students who wish to use, or are using, such materials in connection with their studies should inform the students that they are required to submit an application as soon as possible and not later than the deadline. In such cases, staff should check that an application has been submitted.

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