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Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (Risk of Being Drawn into Terrorism) (Amendment and Guidance) Regulations 2015

Volume 760: debated on Monday 23 March 2015

Motion to Approve

Moved by

That the draft regulations laid before the House on 12 March be approved.

Relevant document: 25th Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

My Lords, this secondary legislation has been brought forward in respect of measures in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and specifically the provisions in Part 5, which are concerned with reducing the risk of people being drawn into terrorism. This House has recently considered the primary legislation, during which there was widespread recognition of the threat from terrorism and broad support for the measures in the Act. There was also a very informed debate on the duty, imposed in Section 26, known as the Prevent duty. These regulations are crucial to the effective implementation of this new duty. The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments and the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee have considered it, and I place on record my appreciation of the forbearance shown by the chairs and members of those committees in considering this SI outside the normal timescales.

To help the House in its consideration of the instrument, I will briefly outline what the Government seek to achieve with it and why we have brought it forward at this time. The regulations contained in this statutory instrument have three purposes. First, they amend Schedules 6 and 7 to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to add Scottish bodies to the list of those authorities which are subject to the Prevent duty and to those which are listed as partners to local authority panels required to be in place by Section 36. These panels form part of the Channel programme in England and Wales, and Prevent Professional Concerns in Scotland, which are programmes designed to provide support to those vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

Secondly, the regulations make a number of amendments to the Act which are consequential on the adding of these Scottish bodies. In particular, they ensure that Scottish further and higher education institutions will have the same requirement to have particular regard to the need to ensure freedom of speech and the importance of academic freedom while complying with the Prevent duty as do their counterparts in England and Wales. It has always been the Government’s intention that the provisions of Part 5 would apply to bodies in Scotland. We have consulted Scottish Ministers and they are supportive of adding Scottish bodies to the duty.

Thirdly, and finally, the regulations will bring into effect guidance issued under Section 29(1) of the Act for specified authorities in carrying out the Prevent duty. This guidance sets out the detail of what this duty will mean in practice for the authorities that will be subject to it and seeks to explain the steps that should be taken best to secure compliance.

Your Lordships will recall that the Government introduced an amendment to the Bill to ensure that this guidance will take effect only following the approval of Parliament. During the passage of the Bill, a formal public consultation on the draft guidance was taking place. Your Lordships will have read the summary of responses which is referred to in the Explanatory Memorandum. Over 1,700 responses were received during the consultation. Another 300 delegates were reached in the course of five events held in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The responses enabled a thorough revision to take place and the results of that revision are before the House now.

There are two versions of the guidance: one for authorities in England and Wales and a separate one for authorities in Scotland. Following discussions with the Scottish Government, the Government decided that separate guidance, which specifically addresses the particular circumstances of Scotland, would be more helpful than trying to address those circumstances through one set of guidance. The Scottish guidance has also been subject to consultation, through a targeted process undertaken by the Scottish Government.

Your Lordships will have noted that neither document addresses the issue of managing speakers and events in further and higher education institutions. The issue of how universities and colleges balance the Prevent duty with the need to secure freedom of speech and to have regard to the importance of academic freedom is extremely important. Indeed, on account of this, the Government amended the legislation to ensure that institutions pay particular regard to the importance of academic freedom and freedom of speech when complying with the Prevent duty.

We will use the time before the duty commences to produce further guidance on the matter of managing speakers and events in further and higher education institutions and it will be for the next Government to bring it to Parliament early in the next Session for the approval of both Houses. It is essential that guidance is provided which is accurate and workable for the institutions themselves. It is not the Government’s intention that the duty should commence for the further and higher education sectors until guidance on speakers and events has been published. This of course will be for the next Government to carry through.

Finally, before we debate the particulars of the regulations before the House today, I would like to take this opportunity to remind noble Lords of the purpose of this new duty and its importance. Noble Lords will be aware that the emergence of ISIL and the number of people, particularly vulnerable, young people, who have misguidedly travelled to Syria and Iraq, present a heightened threat to our national security. The intelligence agencies tell us that the threat now is worse than at any time since 9/11. It is serious and it is growing. The threat has changed and so must our response. As part of that response, we need to continue to combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism, and prevent people from being drawn onto that path. The Prevent duty will ensure that such activity is consistent across the country and in all those bodies whose staff work on the front line with those at risk from radicalisation.

These regulations are needed effectively to implement the Prevent duty across England, Wales and Scotland, which will ultimately help the Government and law enforcement agencies to keep the country safe from terrorism. I commend them to the House and I beg to move that they are approved.

My Lords, I very much welcome these regulations and I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. He may remember that when we were debating the Bill, which has now become the 2015 Act, I tabled a number of amendments to try to advance the Scottish position, which was difficult because no Scottish institutions were yet mentioned in the schedule. That meant that I felt a little inhibited in pressing the points that needed to be attended to.

I am particularly grateful to the Minister and those who have been advising him for the way the Scottish matters have been dealt with in Regulations 4 and 5. Regulation 4 deals with a technical point which I had thought about raising but it seemed a little too fussy at the time; namely, that a mandatory order, which was being provided for in the Bill and, subject to this amendment, is still in the Act, is not available as a means of enforcing a court’s orders in Scotland. As Regulation 4 correctly puts it, a proper mechanism is,

“by an order for specific implement”.

Had it been necessary to do so, I would have moved that amendment myself. I did not trouble to because I was quite sure that someone would pick it up if the need arose and I am very glad that that has been attended to.

It is pleasing to see how the definition of the duty to ensure freedom of speech has been expressed in Regulation 5, particularly as it mentions visiting speakers as well as,

“members, students and employees of the institution”.

The wording of that provision, which chimes very well with what I and others were attempting to achieve in the debates on the Bill, is very welcome.

Finally, the Scottish guidance is significantly lighter-handed than the English. In particular, the way higher education and further education institutions are dealt with is significantly lighter because a good deal more trust exists between the Government in Scotland and the institutions with which they are dealing. However, looking at paragraph 60 in the Scottish guidance, it occurred to me that further guidance was being anticipated to deal specifically with the problem of visiting speakers. The Minister mentioned that in his summary. I look forward to seeing what comes out of it, but I hope very much that those who are framing the guidance in Scotland will continue to deal with this with a light-touch mechanism. They are dealing with people of good will who know exactly what they are seeking to achieve and who do not need very much detail—just enough to point the way the universities should go in setting out their mechanisms. I am quite certain they will follow the guidance if it follows the kind of pattern we see in the guidance before us today.

For all these reasons, I am extremely grateful to the Minister and those supporting him for what has been achieved in these regulations.

My Lords, I follow the comments just made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, by saying that one of the benefits of both new sets of guidance, for England and Wales and for Scotland, is that the tone is very different. That is enormously helpful. I am also very grateful for my noble friend’s comments about the final decision on external speakers being made by the next Government.

However, I would ask the Minister for absolute clarification on one point. I know that there have been discussions outside your Lordships’ House following the consultation on exactly what would happen if agreement were not reached on the thorny issue of external speakers. Could my noble friend give reassurance that the guidance to higher and further education would be withdrawn completely should such an agreement not be reached? Clearly, the reference within the guidance makes it absolutely clear that this is one of the Government’s major concerns.

I would be very grateful as well if our thanks could be passed back to the Minister’s civil servants for the hard work involved in accepting the many thorns in the flesh that your Lordships’ House has provided in the detailed discussions of this, especially given that the Commons did not have the chance to talk about the detail of the guidance when it considered the matter.

My Lords, I welcome the opportunity to debate the guidance and welcome a number of the additions to the original draft, notably: the addition of the reference to the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act in paragraph 12; the cross-reference to “other relevant safeguarding guidance” in paragraph 40; and, in particular, the expectation in paragraph 111 that higher education institutions will,

“seek to engage and consult students on their plans for implementing the duty”.

The role of students—listening to what students have to say—is really important, so I welcome that. I am sure that the inclusion of a definition of “Having due regard” in the glossary will be helpful to all those non-lawyers in the higher education sector.

As during our discussion of the Bill, I will focus my remarks on higher education. Here, as the Minister has acknowledged, there is a glaring omission, with the reference to the issue at a later date of,

“guidance … on the management of external speakers and events”,

including, I am pleased to say, on how the Prevent duty will interact with,

“existing duties to secure freedom of speech and have regard to the importance of academic freedom”,

which, thanks to the deliberations in your Lordships’ House and to the Minister’s willingness to listen, were written into the legislation.

Although I understand the reason for the omission, having read about it in the press—I do not want to intrude into private debates on this—it is regrettable that the most contentious part of the draft guidance when it was discussed in your Lordships’ House is not available for your Lordships to debate today, as opposed to what may happen. I very much endorse the plea made by the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, that, if agreement is not possible, the whole thing should be withdrawn. I also very much urge on the Minister, or any future Minister, that in the time between now and this being brought forward there should be proper engagement and consultation with the higher education sector to try to reach agreement on something that will be workable, unlike the original draft.

Concerns also remain about the position of student unions and societies. The guidance, I am glad to say, now acknowledges that student unions are already,

“subject to charity laws and regulations, including those that relating to preventing terrorism”.

But the NUS states:

“However, the continued emphasis on student unions’ compliance with their institutions’ policies remains worrying and indicates a misunderstanding of the autonomy of students’ unions which could lead to confusion and conflict between institutions and students’ unions”.

The NUS also commends the guidance for Scotland as achieving,

“a better balance in this respect”,

with a greater emphasis on co-operation with, rather than control by, higher education institutions. Can the Minister clarify the Government’s understanding of the implications of student unions’ autonomy in this area and explain why the Scottish guidance differs from that for England and Wales? I cannot see what the particular circumstances of Scotland are to explain this difference.

The other most contentious element in the original draft guidance was the very broad definition of extremism as,

“vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.

Perhaps even more worrying was the inclusion of “non-violent extremism”. The Joint Committee on Human Rights—again, I declare my interest as a member—emphasised its concerns about such vague terms in its legislative scrutiny report and warned:

“This legal uncertainty will have a seriously inhibiting effect on bona fide academic debate in universities, and on freedom of association”.

UCU, my former trade union, has expressed similar concerns around the revised guidance. So-called fundamental British values, it says, include values and concepts which are rightly the subject of debate and consideration in universities. It is not appropriate for universities to be required to exclude those who lawfully oppose them.

According to the summary of responses to the consultation, this issue attracted some comment, including concerns about that very vagueness. Yet the revised guidance does not appear to have attempted to address these concerns. Can the Minister explain why not? I do not want to make too much of it but can he also explain why the Scottish guidance does not make reference to “non-violent extremism” in the higher education section? If it is not necessary to repeat the earlier general reference there, why is it necessary to do so in the guidance for England and Wales?

Turning to training, the guidance requires a willingness to undertake training of what it calls “relevant staff”. It says:

“We would expect appropriate members of staff to have an understanding of the factors that make people support terrorist ideologies or engage in terrorist-related activity. Such staff should have sufficient training to be able to recognise vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism”.

The guidance also suggests:

“Changes in behaviour and outlook may be visible to staff”.

The Minister, James Brokenshire, when he gave oral evidence to the JCHR, said:

“There might be someone whom a lecturer has concerns about, not simply because of one particular lively debate, but because they are becoming withdrawn and reserved, and perhaps showing other personality traits”.

All this suggests that we are talking about staff who are in close contact with students—for example, lecturers or personal tutors—who will need to be trained as they are presumably the most likely to pick up on such vulnerability or changes on a day-to-day basis.

I was surprised that the impact assessment—if I have read it correctly; perhaps I have made a mistake—assumes that 15 people in every HE and FE institution will receive Prevent awareness training once every two years at a cost of £46,500. Who does the Minister envisage that these 15 or so people will be? What positions will they hold? Clearly, they cannot be at the chalk—or what is now the whiteboard—face of teaching. I am not arguing for mass surveillance of students by lecturers but there seems to be an inconsistency here that could leave teaching staff exposed if they are expected to play an active role in preventing students being drawn into terrorism without being given the training that the guidance itself acknowledges is necessary for people to be able to fulfil this role. Again, I would be grateful for clarification, as it may be that I have misread the impact assessment.

Finally, is the Minister now in a position to clarify HEFCE’s role, as that has not been spelled out in the guidance? Here, UCU repeats its concerns about HEFCE’s ability to regulate institutions with which it has no formal funding relationship. Has this now been resolved? What steps will be taken to prepare HEFCE for this new role?

For all the very welcome improvements that were made to the Bill during its passage through your Lordships’ House and the improvements that have been made to the guidance, the guidance still raises a number of very real worries. This is all the more so in the light of the recent newspaper report about Imperial College cancelling a booking for an international conference on Palestine at the last minute because of what speakers might say. If this is true—I have not been able to check the newspaper report—it suggests that the legislation is already having the very chilling effect that many Members of your Lordships’ House warned about when the legislation was going through. I am not convinced that the guidance as it stands is sufficiently robust to guard against such a chilling effect.

My Lords, will the Minister accept from me—because I was very active in the earlier discussions—my thanks to him and his department for having taken pretty full account of a lot of the points that were made in those debates in bringing forward this guidance? That is admirable and something that we should be grateful for.

I want to raise two or three very small points. The first is one that the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, raised on the vexed issue of non-violent extremism. The Government have consistently refused to define what they mean by non-violent extremism, so they are now passing this extremely hot potato straight to the universities and expecting that they will do better than the Government and will be able to define non-violent extremism. Well, the Minister has one last chance now to do something about that and I ask him to do it. The failure of the Government to say what they mean by this extremely nebulous concept of non-violent extremism is putting universities in a pretty difficult position.

Secondly, I would be grateful if the Minister would note that I take a different view from that of others about the omission from this guidance of any guidance on visiting speakers and lecturers. The Government are very wise not to have rushed into this. Contrary to others who spoke in the debate, I think that, even if it takes the new Government quite a time to work out how to grasp this extremely painful nettle, they should take that time and not dash into it because this is the single most difficult issue.

Finally, there is the issue of the Prevent co-ordinators. It is quite clear from the guidance that the key to this is going to be the sensitivity with which the Prevent co-ordinators and universities are able to work together. That will require the Prevent co-ordinators to show real understanding and sensitivity on how universities work and what makes them worth while. I hope not only that universities will spend a lot of time and resource on Prevent training but that the Home Office will spend a little time and money on training Prevent co-ordinators in how universities work and why it is in our interest that they should continue to work effectively.

My Lords, I hope that the Minister will take seriously the points which have just been made by the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, and, in particular, the contribution of my noble friend Lady Lister. Universities are crucial—this is not to overstate the case—to the future of the species. They must be centres of excellence, of course, but they must also be centres of scholarly excellence, free exchange and originality on an international basis—because any relevant university in our age must be an international community. We have to be careful surely in all that we do that we do not unintentionally inhibit the quality and freedom of discourse, discussion and analysis that are central to humanity’s future.

It cannot be overstated just how huge the challenges to the security services are. They are tremendous, and the work that they do on behalf of us all cannot be commended often enough. However, I have a conviction, which I am sure is shared by many noble Lords, that the ultimate battle against this evil which confronts us is in the minds of men and women across the world. We build the ultimate safeguards and the ultimate strength in what people think, feel and have as their values. In that context, the contribution by universities is very special. We must be careful therefore that we do not do things which are counterproductive. Of course, it is a very difficult balance, and I sympathise across the Floor with Ministers and others, and certainly with officials, who grapple with this issue—but we must be careful all the time that we are not eroding what makes universities so important and attracts so many people from across the world to our own universities.

One other thing that I feel strongly about on this matter—again, I am certain that I am not alone—is that we must beware of giving the extremists victories. They are dedicated to destroying our society. If we ourselves get the balance wrong and begin inadvertently to undermine those things which are precious and special to life today and to our future, we give the extremists a victory. From that standpoint, the points that have been made about the care that needs to be taken with the role of education are very important.

Having said all that, I want to put to put on record how much I admire the Minister’s response to discussion on the Bill throughout its passage through Parliament. He sets particularly high standards in listening and trying to respond. I do not want to embarrass him or put him in a difficult position, but I am always reassured because I think that, instinctively and intellectually, he is on the side of the arguments that I have just put forward.

My Lords, perhaps I may pursue briefly a point raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, on who is to monitor compliance with the Prevent duty. The draft guidance referred to HEFCE undertaking the duty, but, as the noble Baroness pointed out, there is a difficulty about that, because the duty covers institutions with which HEFCE has no funding relationship. I see that in the revised guidance the reference to HEFCE has been removed and there is now reference to “an appropriate body”. Can the Minister tell us a little more about the Government’s thinking on that? I express the hope on my own account that it does not imply that a new quango—a new regulatory body—is to be set up for this purpose.

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Butler, has partly stolen my thunder: I, too, was going to raise the issue of the monitoring body. Like all the speakers so far, I would like to thank the Minister for the care and attention with which he listened at Committee and Report stages to the issues raised. Many of the changes to the guidance are greatly to be welcomed, particularly the addition of a glossary. Although, as the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, said, we still do not have a definition of non-violent extremism, an attempt at that is made in the glossary. Obviously, I think that we would all like to go further and know what the Government’s intention really is in understanding non-violent extremism—because, as the noble Lord, Lord Judd, said, there is clearly an issue about ensuring that we still have free expression and that universities are able to deal with that. A lot of the changes have toned down the language from previous versions, so we are talking about “relevant” and “appropriate” bodies and people, not simply all academics and everybody associated with higher education institutions.

That is very much to be welcomed, but, like many colleagues, I think that there is still an issue of when we are likely to see guidance on counterextremism. As the noble Lord, Lord Hannay, rightly says, it needs to be dealt with carefully and should not be rushed by the next Government and the next Parliament. Can the Minister reassure us that what he said at the outset will indeed be in place and that government proposals will come back to Parliament to be debated on the Floor of both Houses, as this guidance has done? That is hugely important. We welcome this opportunity today, but it would be extremely detrimental if further counterextremism proposals came forward in the next Parliament on which we did not have a say.

My Lords, would the Minister be willing to consider that the Prevent duty might be well entrenched by preventive measures such as requiring a recording of visiting speakers’ presentations? It is such a normal feature of university life that one is requested to agree to a recording for the intranet, a podcast or whatever. It would mean that there would be a record and that matters could proceed with a lighter touch.

My Lords, I have not spoken previously on this matter, but I just want to draw the Minister’s attention to the fact that Southampton University is organising a conference on legal issues surrounding Israel and Palestine, the two states, in the middle of April and is under intense pressure from the Israel lobby to drop it on the grounds that it will be anti-Semitic. Will he comment on this—or could he, in the interests of freedom of speech and particularly freedom of expression in universities, help Southampton University in this matter?

I join others in thanking the Minister, who has been extraordinarily tolerant and helpful in our discussions. I have one brief query that I would like to raise. We have heard about who might be considered to monitor and examine the role of speakers and organisations in the universities. What will they actually do? It has been widely said that the Prevent strategy has not been very successful, because it has given Islamic groups and the Muslim community a sense of victimisation and the feeling that they in particular are being targeted, which is not at all what one wants. How does one avoid this on university campuses? Will all these monitoring activities focus on a very small number of societies and groups, or will all societies be involved in this? How are we to avoid the charge that individual bodies are being victimised? It seems to me that such extraordinarily general themes as non-violent radicalism are capable of being applied to almost any kind of student activity or student debate that one could conceive of, so how does one strike a balance between non-victimisation and proper inquiry?

My Lords, we discussed the role of statutory guidance when we dealt with the issue during the passage of the Bill. The guidance has benefited considerably from the work that was done on it then and in the interim, but I am still not convinced that a statutory duty is the best or most appropriate way of going about all this. Although the tone of the guidance is, indeed, rather different from that of the draft, I hope that the Minister will understand if I focus on some concerns rather than on giving a three-minute paean of praise for the changes that have been made—many of which I am glad to see.

Inevitably, because of the primary legislation, the guidance is quite top-down. There is little attention to the nuanced, softer approach or to the creation of a counter-narrative, which we discussed during the passage of the Bill. There is reference to discrimination, but not very much about the dangers of discrimination or perceived discrimination.

Understandably, the question of resources remains a matter of concern, as many of the consultees said, including when they talked about training. The impact assessment says:

“The cost will vary with the level of the risk”.

However, the context in which that point is made reflects the reactive nature, it seems to me, of some of the guidance, not a more proactive, subtle approach. On the impact assessment, I cannot entirely follow all the figures and I hope that the Home Office can get rid of the typos—there is a stray “m” somewhere, which seems to be a big multiplier of the amount that something might cost, but I think it is an error.

I was interested that the consultation provoked responses from very many consultees, but not from all those that I would expect, including a number of local authorities that are in what I would assume to be the current priority areas.

Some of the guidance I find difficult. It identifies best practice, describing ways in which authorities can comply with the duty, but because of the emphasis on monitoring and enforcement it reads as though “best practice” means the only practice—a lot of the content about record-keeping and inspection rather supports that view. After all, this is a best value duty, and the sanctions which accompany that duty can be quite considerable.

Like the noble Baroness, Lady Lister, I still find some difficulty with the confusion between “extremism”—violent and non-violent—“terrorism” and, in one or two places, “radicalisation”, in phrases such as “drawn into extremism or terrorism”. There is one paragraph—oddly, perhaps, in the section “Prisons and probation”, which I thought was actually very clear—which refers to:

“concerns around someone being drawn into terrorism (which includes someone with extremist ideas that are used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups)”.

I thought that was a very helpful way of expanding on the point.

Conversely, however, one of the paragraphs in the section on schools reads:

“Being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit.”

All this is a very difficult area. I knew I would not need to say anything about the higher education sector—although I still wonder how this is to be applied in early years education—but, in that same paragraph, schools are told that they are to,

“secure a balanced presentation of political issues”.

That seems to be quite a difficult ask of them, in the light of the wording that I have just read.

Clearly, however, a lot of work has gone into this and the matter will be kept under review, so I do not suppose that this is the last time that Members of this House will be discussing the matter.

My Lords, yet again we have had an interesting and knowledgeable discussion. Noble Lords have rightly paid tribute to the Minister for his consideration of the issues that have been raised. It is unfortunate that when the issue was discussed in the other place we had not previously had any sight of the guidance—we were still waiting for the response to the consultation—but it was helpful that during those debates the Minister was able to say to your Lordships’ House that the issues raised in the discussions and debates that took place here would be taken into account in preparing the revised guidance. That was helpful, and it is evident in some of the changes that have been made.

Noble Lords will be aware that we introduced the Prevent strategy with, at the time, three specific objectives: one was to respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threats that we faced from those who promote and encourage terrorism; another, a very strict part of Prevent, was to prevent people being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they got the appropriate advice, support and help that they needed; and the third was to work with those sectors and institutions where there were risks of radicalisation that they wanted to address.

It is easy to say this, but the scale and complexity of these issues means that trying to address them is not easy or straightforward. We need to better understand the motivations that lead young British people from our community to abandon their homes and families to engage with groups such as ISIS. Part of our response to that, when we first introduced Prevent, was the community strand, which the Government are not now continuing with in the guidance. That is interesting, given the Home Secretary’s speech today in which she recognises the importance of community. It would be helpful if the Minister could comment on why that has been raised today, and whether he feels that the community cohesion strategy and the promotion of a very positive counternarrative was a positive and useful strand of Prevent. I am trying to understand why that is not part and parcel of Prevent now.

Many respondents to the consultation noted, and comments have been made about this today, that there was an insufficient definition of “extremism”, while the definition of “British values” and “non-violent extremism” were vague. The glossary, though helpful, says:

“‘Non-violent extremism’ is extremism, as defined above, which is not accompanied by violence”.

I am not sure that that takes us very far at all, to be honest. I would like clarification on what “non-violent extremism” really means. Does it mean extremism as defined in the guidance, which quite rightly includes,

“calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”?

Is non-violent extremism—I am trying to get this correct—where you are not necessarily calling for the death of someone but you would encourage or support that, even though you would not be involved in violence yourself? Can the Minister clarify whether non-violent extremism includes persons not necessarily being violent themselves but seeking to encourage or support others to do so? That seems to come under the definition of extremism rather than non-violent extremism. Some clarity on that would be helpful.

Noble Lords have raised the issue of the training of front-line staff. I have seen what the impact assessment says about the costs of training, and I think it was my noble friend Lady Lister who referred to the numbers involved, but I am curious about the extent and monitoring of the training. How much knowledge would the Government expect someone to have to be able to appropriately identify potential radicalisation or extremism? I am not sure what the expectations are of what the training should provide. The guidance points out:

“In complying with the duty all specified authorities, as a starting point, should demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation in their area, institution or body”.

What exactly is meant by “awareness and understanding”? I think I understand where the Government are trying to get to with some of these definitions, but it might be helpful for those who have to fulfil this duty to have greater clarity.

With regard to central support and monitoring, the Home Office is the body that currently oversees Prevent activity in local areas. Is there a role for the DCLG in this from a community-based point of view? Would it be helpful for the Home Office to engage with DCLG—or CLG, as I think we are supposed to call it now—so that both departments have a role, but focusing specifically far more on community?

On local authorities I was pleased to see that, following the amendment that we tabled here in your Lordships’ House, the guidance now contains a provision which looks at that role of partnership and the impact of Prevent on local communities through continued dialogue and communication with leading community organisations. That is helpful and we are grateful to see that.

The debate has been mainly on higher education. Perhaps I could take a couple of moments to talk about schools and, of course, nurseries. The noble Lord’s face crumpled at that point. Perhaps we can probe a bit further than we did last time. If I have understood correctly, the obligation of the duty no longer falls on management within schools and nurseries but on the governing bodies. Of course, not all nurseries or childcare providers—as defined in the guidance—will have governing bodies. In one particular case, where my mum runs the local preschool, it is the Church of England that is in effect the preschool’s governing body. I think that it is exempt from the duty so that might create complication for church preschools.

Ofsted inspectors already have to have regard to the dangers of radicalisation and extremism. That is part of the Ofsted inspection; they also have to comment on what must be done if it is suspected that pupils are vulnerable. The Prevent guidance also notes that schools have a duty to promote community cohesion. Ofsted was required to report on this but this requirement was scrapped by the coalition Government in 2011 as part of the burden-reducing process. So we have moved away from it being a role for Ofsted that the Government got rid of and it is now shifting towards being a Prevent duty on those schools’ governing bodies. Has any consideration been given to reinstating that role for Ofsted, and has any evaluation been undertaken as to whether that would be helpful in dealing with community tensions, whether social or religious, as an alternative or additional way forward to support the school?

I have struggled with this but I cannot find any further information in the guidance to tell me how nurseries are included and what are the expectations of those front-line staff who work with the children in them. At some point in the next week or so I am going to have to tell my dear old mum, who runs her local preschool, that there is a new duty on her to identify radicalism and extremism is her three year-olds. I do not quite know how I am going to put this to her and retain her sanity and mine at the same time. What training will be expected of those staff in preschools and nurseries to be able to spot extremism and radicalisation in those under-fives?

I am very unclear on the purpose of this measure and how it will work in practice. I hope the idea is not to try to identify the parents who are involved because we are talking about the welfare of a young child, and relationships between the parents, the preschool, the nursery and the child support team are really important. If there is any clarity, advice or information the Minister can give me on how this is going to work, I would be very grateful—and it would help me to talk to my mum about it at the weekend.

I come back to higher education, about which a number of questions have been raised. I would like to put on record my thanks to Universities UK, Million+, the NUS and other organisations which have been very helpful in providing briefings and information. This was a particularly contentious part of our debates and it is extremely helpful that the noble Lord was able to take on board the comments that were made. He had discussions here in your Lordships’ House and discussions with noble Lords and others outside this Chamber. The amendments tabled by the Government to reaffirm universities’ commitment to freedom of speech and academic freedom were really important and useful. The substantial changes in the guidance are certainly very helpful and an improvement on the original guidance.

A number of questions have already been raised that I will not repeat. This cross-institutional Prevent working groups obligation has now been removed. That is helpful, as are a number of other changes, but I have a couple of points for the Minister. It is unusual in any debate on a statutory instrument to debate what is not in it as opposed to what is. However, a number of issues have been raised today about the guidance that the Government will bring back; for example, the issue of external speakers, and guidance on the management of events. Conventional wisdom tells us—the rumour mill is very busy on this—that there is a disagreement between two departments, which if it is the case is not very impressive; perhaps the noble Lord can enlighten us. It is said that there is a difference of opinion between BIS and the Home Office. I hope that that is not a delaying tactic to get us past the election. The Home Secretary’s speech today laid out a number of measures that she thought should be brought in to deal with counterterrorism issues. You have to ask why, if she believes that those are very important measures, they are not in this Act, which was brought forward in the last Session of Parliament—but are so essential that they are now being brought back after the election. That issue gives me enormous concern.

The noble Baroness knows perfectly well that the Home Secretary has always made it clear that she attaches great importance to this issue; unfortunately, however, it was not possible to get the measure through this House, so it will have to come back, whichever party comes to power.

The noble Lord refers to one issue, but the Home Secretary raised several today, and I assume that this guidance forms part of it. I hope that it is not a delaying tactic for the order before us today. On a rare occasion, I disagree with my noble friend Lady Lister, who said that it was “regrettable” that it was not with us. Although it is in some ways, it is also an opportunity. The noble Lord was very helpful, and when we had our discussions previously he said that he would engage—or that there would be engagement, if not with him personally—with those who would be responsible for implementing such guidance. I always think that guidance and legislation are effective only if they can be implemented in practice—the workability test that was spoken about so often with regard to other legislation. It cannot just be a theory; it has to be something that works. I hope that this will be an opportunity for the Government to engage with the universities and those who will have responsibility for implementing the guidance on who has responsibility for the duty so that they can discuss with the Government—I hope that those discussions are taking place now—how to make this sensible, practical and effective.

One final point, which has been raised by other noble Lords, is the relationship between HEFCE, as a monitoring body, with other bodies. It is not a funding body; I share the concerns of the noble Lord, Lord Butler, that it is to be hoped that the Government are not planning to set up a completely new quango to monitor that. However, I understand that meetings were due to take place last week, on 20 March, with HEFCE and other bodies to discuss how that could work. It would be helpful if the Minister could enlighten us on any progress that was made at those meetings.

A number of questions have come out of this debate, but I hope that the noble Lord will take away with him our gratitude for having seen significant changes; we are grateful to him for listening, because that is not always the case. I hope that we have not wrecked his career by thanking him too much. The guidance we have now is certainly better than what was presented to your Lordships’ House and discussed in Committee.

My Lords, I am very grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken in this debate. It has generated a flurry of notes from the Box and I will try to cover most of the questions that were raised. However, as I try to respond to the points that were raised, it will be worth trying not to lose sight of the general agreement on the journey on which we have travelled, which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, helpfully set out at the beginning, and which I think noble Lords on all sides of the House have broadly welcomed.

We began the journey because Prevent was already in place—the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon, made the point that it was introduced by the previous Government. We found, through the regional co-ordinators of Prevent, who had a good working relationship with many universities, that the quality of the way in which the Prevent programme was delivered in higher education institutions varied widely, and that often the level of compliance was best where perhaps it was needed least, and worst where it was needed most. For that reason, having given the matter very careful consideration, the decision was made to put it on a statutory footing to try to get some consistency in the way in which it was delivered. That is the context behind this.

I am conscious of the point made by the noble Lords, Lord Morgan and Lord Judd, in talking about how precious our higher education institutions are as a bulwark against extremism. That was one of the finest debates that we had on the Bill. Early on, the noble Lord, Lord Deben, talked about bringing areas of contention out into the open and said that having a debate about them was critically important. That was why, as part of that, we put in place in the Bill and reiterated in the guidance that institutions should have particular regard to academic freedom duties in the 1988 Act and freedom of speech issues in the 1986 Act. Without getting into specific issues that the noble Baroness raised about Imperial and my noble friend raised about Southampton, that is what needs to be taken back to those authorities, to remind them that that is what the guidance states, rather than what it does not—and sometimes how it is interpreted.

I was grateful to many noble Lords who welcomed the fact that we now have a glossary. Those who went through the detailed passage of the Bill will realise that Appendix F was designed for the Minister’s benefit rather than necessarily for those who are participating. I at least found it very helpful, even if, in certain areas, it does not quite go far enough. I shall come to some of those points.

The noble Lord, Lord Butler, with his experienced eye, spotted the nebula for quangos that could be there in the absence of HEFCE—but we should not take it that not specifying HEFCE is saying that it is not going to be that organisation. We consulted on that, and clearly there needs to be a discussion and an agreement that HEFCE will be prepared to take that on. But I can state—and I hope that this will reassure noble Lords—that it is certainly not the Government’s intention to establish a new body to carry this out.

On the point raised by my noble friend Lady Brinton about whether guidance will be withdrawn if further guidance is not agreed, that will be for the next Government—and we could be coming back to that a few times in the course of my remarks. But it is a serious point because it will, of course, have to be brought forward. It is not our intention that the duty should commence for the further and higher education sectors until guidance on managing speakers and events has been published and approved by Parliament. The noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Newnham, made the point that it would require another affirmative statutory instrument to come before your Lordships' House and that there would be a debate on that. Without that debate and that order, it would not be anticipated that we could give commencement to the wider provision, because there would be a very large hole in the guidance that would be implemented.

I will pick up on a few points. Noble Lords referred to recording meetings of organisations. I do not have anything official on that but, intuitively, that would seem to be exactly the type of thing that would be a good way in which to ensure that, when there are speakers of this nature who may give rise to contention, they are reviewed—and that could be part of the internal review. That is exactly the type of innovative idea that I would like higher education institutions to take advantage of.

The noble Lord, Lord Hannay, welcomed a large part of what is in the guidance, but he also asked for the definition of “non-violent extremism”. It means simply that extremism is not accompanied by violence or a threat of violence. The Prevent strategy is clear that it includes challenging non-violent ideas that are part of a terrorist ideology and that risk drawing people into terrorism. In that context, I would add that, although we are talking about acts of terrorism, we are also talking about radicalisation. The Prime Minister’s task force on tackling extremism and radicalisation felt that there should be a provision to capture that which is radical and extreme but does not directly incite acts of violence—although it could, of course, lead that way.

A number of noble Lords asked about training. That may sound rather grander than it is. I have flashbacks of exchanges with the noble Lord, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, on this subject. I do not want to tempt him to come into the Chamber and engage me on this issue again, but I remember him going through the effect of the impact assessment, quantifying how many co-ordinators it would require and extrapolating the cost of that across all institutions.

I come back to the point that we are talking about, which is what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, mentioned in the Scottish context—a light-touch approach. Initially there would be a workshop to raise awareness of Prevent: there is a DVD-led training tool to teach front-line workers how to identify and support those at risk of radicalisation. The DVD course is half an hour or an hour long, and is designed simply to introduce people to the key themes that they ought to be aware of. When we talk about training we are not anticipating that great swathes of trainers, and those being trained, would be required in organisations.

The noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, also asked about the differences between the Scottish guidance and the English and Welsh guidance. Universities in Scotland will be under the same Prevent duty in law as universities in England and Wales. There are some relatively minor differences in the drafting of the Scottish version of the guidance. On the whole, these reflect the particular circumstances in Scotland. The Scottish version of the guidance makes it clear in the introductory section that being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and popularise views that terrorists then go on to exploit.

The noble Baroness, Lady Lister, asked about the position of student unions. They are not subject to the Prevent duty, but whatever procedures apply to university premises will apply no matter what body is using them. This will be a matter for university governing bodies. Also on the subject of students, the noble Baroness welcomed the fact that in the guidance we had introduced a requirement to consult. That reflects the contents of the letter that I sent out on 9 February, and also the intervention, to which I pay tribute, of the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, who asked for an undertaking that students would be engaged in the process. I said at the time that that was very sensible and that we ought to include it in the guidance—and it is now in the guidance, in the section on partnerships.

My noble friend Lady Hamwee and the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, talked about the duties of nursery staff in this regard. I am conscious that we had these debates some time ago and, on the surface, it sounds strange to include provision for nursery staff in this area. However, this issue applies to schools, including primary schools. We do not expect teachers and nursery workers to intrude unnecessarily in family life, but we expect them to take action if they observe behaviour which is of concern. That should be done in an age-appropriate way. I overhear the noble Baroness opposite asking from a sedentary position what this could be. For example, a small child attending a nursery may espouse some very strange or extreme views on anti-Semitism. All I am saying is that nursery staff and all staff and responsible adults should be aware of the importance of safeguarding children of all ages. If untoward comments are made—not just asides, but comments that are repeated—which cause concern, we are simply saying that this is a real generational threat that we face, as we see in our newspapers virtually every day, and we cannot tackle this alone. The security forces cannot tackle this alone. They need the support of everybody in the wider community to do that. That is really what we are talking about. We are certainly not talking about anything that is overly intrusive.

My noble friend Lady Hamwee asked whether the measure deals properly with discrimination. The guidance specifically mentions the public sector equality duty set out in Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, to which all public authorities are already subject. I hope that that helps provide guidance in that regard. The noble Baroness, Lady Smith, asked about communities. Communities are an extremely important part of delivering the Prevent strategy and their importance is mentioned in a number of places in the guidance. There is, of course, a cross-departmental group working on Prevent, radicalisation and people being drawn into terrorism. The Department for Communities and Local Government is part of that.

I think that I have dealt with training and awareness. As regards the encouragement of others—

I am grateful to the noble Lord for his comments on nurseries, although I am not 100% sure that I fully understand what nursery staff could do in response to something that a three year-old says or does that would be beyond what they currently do in ensuring that three year-olds behave appropriately. However, I asked the noble Lord specifically about the training for nursery staff. He has spoken about training generally. Is the training for nursery staff the same as it would be for staff at schools or universities or will there be specific training for those who deal with much younger children?

That is a good point. Procedures need to be set out to ensure that the nursery has guidance in place detailing how it will implement Prevent and what it would do if a three year-old said, “My sister is going off to Syria”, or something of that nature. What would it do if a child made such a comment? Does it have a procedure for dealing with that? To whom would it report that and what action would it take? That is probably not the best example as I have just thought of it and I am sure that the officials will probably send me 10 far better examples. However, I am just trying to appeal to the common-sense elements of this. If such an incident should happen, do nursery staff have a procedure in place to deal with it? I think that is all that would be required of nurseries. The noble Baroness raised a very fair point about Ofsted. I am afraid that I do not have the answer at this stage but it is a good point and I will ensure that I write to her on it. I have tried to address as many of the points as possible—

Will the Minister clarify the intention on commencement of the various provisions? I see that Regulation 2 states that the regulations will,

“come into force on the day after the day on which they are made”.

I am not sure of the procedure, but if we approve the regulations, does that mean tomorrow or is there some period during which they will lie awaiting further making? It is important because Regulation 3 states that the guidance for both England and Wales and for Scotland will,

“take effect on the day on which this regulation comes into force”.

The guidance as we have it at the moment is guidance, absent the bit about dealing with visitors to universities, and so on. That is referred to in paragraph 60 of the Scottish guidance. I think the Minister was saying that it was not until the complete package was before us that the provisions would come into force. As worded, it would suggest that we have the regulations as they stand. If that is the position, can we take it that the further guidance will be brought before Parliament in further regulations, which would give us an opportunity to debate it? That might be a neat way of dealing with it. I am not quite clear about the procedure and the timing of these various measures.

That is a very good point. I thank the noble and learned Lord for probing further on that. I repeat the answer that I gave in part to the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton. The intention is that these provisions will come into effect on 1 July. I also said that what would be required is for that further regulation-making order, relating to speakers and events, to be in place for that to happen. If that was not in place, the provisions could not come into force as intended on 1 July. That date would have to be changed, presumably in a further statutory instrument that would come before the House. We hope that that will not be necessary, but the current intention is that these provisions will come into effect on 1 July, provided that that important additional element of speakers and events has been passed by your Lordships’ House.

Motion agreed.