Socialist Worker

College victory in battle to resist Prevent

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2518

An Edinburgh College building

An Edinburgh College building (Pic: Keith Hunter)


Anti-racists won a victory in the fight against the Tories’ Islamophobic “Prevent” agenda last week.

Edinburgh College bosses agreed to remove references to Prevent in “bSafe” staff training after lecturers threatened a boycott.

Prevent forces public sector workers to spy for signs of “radicalisation”—and mainly targets Muslims.

Penny Gower, the EIS- Fela union learning rep (pc), told Socialist Worker, “Lecturers don’t want to turn our students into suspects.

“There should be the space for them to raise concerns about such things as British foreign policy without fear.”

Management agreed to remove references to Prevent from the bSafe training—which ranges from safeguarding to dealing with fires

However, the college has not stepped outside of Prevent.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) Scottish government does not have power over Prevent.

But it does have some influence over how it is implemented.

The large teaching unions, including EIS, UCU and NUT have policies against Prevent, but it needs strong campaigning from below to take it on.

As Penny said, “This shows that in some cases we can do things practically.”

And this puts growing pressure onto the Tories’ racist policy.


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