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The Implementation of the Prevent duty within Education

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16 Last updated 30 September 2020.


I am Professor of Youth and Policy (since 2013) and Associate Dean – Research and Enterprise (since 2015) for the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield, where I have worked since 1999.

My research focuses mainly on state policies around young people and ethnic/racial community cohesion, and on the prevention of violent extremism. I’m concerned particularly with how ground-level policy-makers and practitioners mediate and enact such state policy agendas.

I have developed my research through a number of past and present funded projects created in collaboration with regional, national and international government bodies and Policing organisations, with the research findings creating impact by influencing international, national and regional policy and practice. I was Joint Principal Investigator (PI) (with Prof. Michele Grossman of Deakin University, Australia) of the CREST-funded ‘Community Reporting Thresholds’ project which investigated the barriers community members, especially young adults, face in sharing concerns about someone close to them becoming involved in extremism. This UK study directly informed the National Counter-Terrorism Police’s ‘Act Early’ campaign. This research is now being replicated and developed through research studies in the USA (led by UCLA) and in Canada (led by Ryerson), with Prof. Grossman and I Joint-PIs on both studies. I am also currently Co-PI on a study with Deakin University around changing processes of terrorist recruitment. I was previously Joint PI (with Dr. Joel Busher, Coventry and Tufyal Choudhury, Durham) on the first national study investigating the implementation of the Prevent Duty in English schools and colleges. The 2017 report from this project received significant media coverage and policy-making interest.

Previously, I was PI on an action research project around implementation of community cohesion policies in Kirklees, West Yorkshire and Co-PI on a mixed methods investigation of attitudes and dispositions within mainly white, marginalised communities in both Kirklees and Calderdale. I have previously been PI on a Prevent-funded action research project into young people’s feelings about ‘identity’, cohesion and segregation in Rochdale and Oldham, Greater Manchester and on an evaluation of the first year of Prevent activity in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. I am currently working with the Jo Cox Foundation to research community attitudes to cohesion and involvement in Batley, West Yorkshire.

I am a professionally qualified youth and community worker. Prior to joining the University, I worked as a regional manager for a national voluntary youth work organisation and as a regional youth policy and campaigns officer for the government’s Commission for Racial Equality. Since joining the School of Education and Professional Development, I have contributed to sociology and social policy teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, to the professional development of our Youth and Community Work students, and to PGR supervision.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Multiculturalism and state policy approaches
  • Ethnic segregation, Integration and Community Cohesion
  • Terrorism, political extremism and approaches to prevention, including the Prevent strategy
  • Ethnicity, Identity, marginalisation and young people
  • Youth Work policy and practice
  • Marginalised young people

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Preventing Extremism
  • Ethnic Integration
  • Community Cohesion


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