Safeguarding Training 

In January 2021 staff with designated safeguarding roles, as well as other staff members within the Student Experience Division were asked to undertake an online training course on "Safeguarding Essentials."

Safeguarding Essentials is now available to all staff on the LearnUpon platform. All colleagues are encouraged to complete this training which has received very positive feedback. It is recommended that this course is completed as part of new staff induction training.

The online course takes around an hour to complete and is designed to assist you in understanding your role in safeguarding children and adults at risk and looks at what safeguarding means in practical terms. It provides information on the key warning signs that you should look out for and outlines a number of case studies and scenarios for you to consider.

To enrol on the Safeguarding Essentials course, please login to LearnUpon (using a Chrome browser) and locate the course within the online catalogue.

In May 2022, a facilitated Safeguarding Workshop with an external Safeguarding Trainer and Consultant was hosted for Local Safeguarding Officers. The next Safeguarding Training day will take place on Wednesday 6th September 2023. Please contact Louise Spenceley should you require more details or like to attend. 

Prevent Training

As part of our Institutional response to the Prevent Duty, members of staff in academic, support and professional services roles need to be aware of the Prevent Duty as it affects higher education institutions and their responsibilities. In April 2020 the University rolled out a new online Prevent training course, and since then over 315 members of staff (this figure includes non-staff members of Council) have completed the training. 

The Government website also offers e-training on Prevent which is freely available for anyone to undertake. In the training courses, you will learn about the Prevent Duty, different forms of extremism and terrorism, the risk around radicalisation and your supportive role, making a Prevent referral that is both informed and made with good intention and the interventions and support available. The training can be accessed via the following link: Prevent e-learning package

To date briefings have been held for staff and formal WRAP (Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent) training has been undertaken by academic, support and professional services staff groups across the campus.

There has been consultation with staff and students, led by the Vice Chancellor, who is encouraging the community to engage in thinking about the Prevent Duty implementation.

The independent review of the government’s Prevent counterterrorism strategy has now been published. Recommendation 28 refers to training in higher education: 

“Higher education staff responsible for authorising on-campus events with external speakers should be provided with training on how to manage and assess risk. Where necessary this should include conducting effective due diligence checks, and guidance on how to balance statutory obligations under the Prevent Duty with the legal requirement to protect freedom of speech.”

Furthermore, within the body of the review William Shawcross references training and the definition of “relevant” staff. Currently the Department for Education suggests that it should be for individual higher education organisations to create a training plan to identify key and relevant staff groups to undertake training. However, the review recommends that this should be made clearer that “relevant staff” covers:

  • staff with student-facing responsibilities who undertake existing safeguarding training, including lecturers, and
  • staff authorising on-campus events and conducting due diligence, for them to be able to identify external speaker risk, and the changing methodologies used by extremists to target student audiences.

The Prevent Steering Group in consultation with the University Executive Group, will review the current criteria for the cohort of staff mandated to complete the Prevent training when the relevant guidance for the HE sector is updated and published. 

Unconscious Bias

The University is also committed to ensuring that staff increase their awareness and understanding of Unconscious Bias. Unconscious bias refers to the biases we hold that are not under our conscious control.  Research shows that these biases can adversely affect key decisions in the workplace.

There is an eLearning course (recommneded for all staff and mandatory for all staff G7 and above) available on the LearnUpon platform. The unconscious bias e-learning aims to increase awareness of unconscious bias and its impact on people with protected characteristics, and to reduce discriminatory behaviour and attitudes in the workplace. 

If you would like to find out more about Unconscious Bias please follow this link to the Royal Society website that includes a short animation and briefing on Unconscious Bias:

Best Practice

From time to time there will be additional information posted on this part of the safeguarding webpage. The university sector must continue to discuss and consider what 'best practice' looks like in terms of implementing its Prevent Duty. At Sussex we will continue to provide our community with publications that encourage debate.

In January 2017 the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Equality Challenge Unit and Universities UK published a guide for English universities on how to use equality and human rights law in the context of Prevent - titled "Delivering the Prevent Duty in a proportionate and fair way".