OfS Prevent monitoring data for 2022/2023

The Office for Students has recently published its Prevent monitoring data for 2022/2023. The broad themes are:

  • As in previous years, the number of referrals to Channel is small but increasing. 

In 2022-23 there were 65 ‘formal external Prevent referrals’.  This is an increase from 55 referrals in 21/22, 47 in 2020-21, 37 in 2019-20, 24 in 2018-19, and 15 in 2017-18. 

However, numbers remain low given the total number of institutions (329 in 2022-23) and the students covered by the returns. 

  • The number of events and speakers approved by institutions remains high, with low rates of refusal for any reason, and very low rates of refusal for Prevent related reasons. 

In 2022-23 the number of events or speaker requests rejected for Prevent related reasons was less than or equal to 2, as was the case in 21/22, and in 2020-21 the number was zero. 

Overall, the number of events or speaker requests rejected in 2022-23 was 340, with 39,475 approved via an external speakers process, an increase from 260 rejections in 21/22 with 31,545 approved.  However, the percentage rejected remains at under 1% of all events.

  • For the first time, institutions have been providing data on the underpinning ideology behind the statistics. 

For cases escalated to the Prevent lead, or for informal external advice, or for a formal Prevent referral, ‘Islamist radicalisation’ figures are broadly on a par with ‘extreme right-wing radicalisation’, but both together are less than the number reported as ‘mixed, unclear, or unstable ideology’. 

  • Numbers of staff identified as key in relation to the Prevent duty (86,390), and those receiving induction training (27,315) and refresher training (25,545) remain high. 

If in the coming academic years institutions combine the (anticipated) required staff training in relation to freedom of speech with their training on Prevent, we can expect these numbers to rise sharply. 

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