British Values & Prevent
Prevent Duty for Schools
From 1 July 2015 all schools were subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty for Schools.
At Stannington First, we build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling our pupils to challenge extremist views. You can read about what we do to promote British values below.
The statutory guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas.
The Home Office has developed a core training product for this purpose – Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP). All our staff at Stannington First have received WRAP training sessions on what Prevent is about and how to deal with any issues they may see inside or outside school.
Promoting British Values
At Stannington First School, we provide a curriculum, which is broad and balanced, recognising that every pupil is unique and a citizen of the community of our school and the wider British community. Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to discern their value to society; their rights and their responsibilities and to be well-equipped to follow it as active citizens in the wider world.
We also provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.
In guidance for maintained schools, issued by the Department for Education in November 2014, a list was provided that describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values. This includes:
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
- an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
- an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
The Department for Education has also provided following examples of the actions schools could take to promote British values:
1. include in suitable parts of the curriculum - as appropriate for the age of pupils - material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries;
2. ensure all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils;
3. use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view; and
4. consider the role of extra-curricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values
Within Stannington First we are committed to these values and demonstrate this through:
- The school has a School Council of democratically elected pupils who hold roles of responsibility. The pupils, through their school council representative also participate in opportunities to use their vote either in an election or to make a choice about a school improvement. For example choosing games and resources for outdoor and indoor play.
- Pupils regularly are included in choosing representatives such as school council members, head boy and girl and representatives for sporting activities etc.
- There is a very clear framework for ensuring all pupils are listened to by adults. This is a key part of the school’s safeguarding practices as well as the Behaviour for Learning policy and general ethos.
- Inviting MPs and other locally elected speakers or representatives of local community organisations to the school
- Classes always create their own ‘class contracts’
- The School Behaviour Policy is regularly reviewed and explained to all.
- There are regular visits from the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong, being helped and general safety awareness.
- Within our RE curriculum, teachers highlight the rules of the Church and God, for example the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church.
A major aspect of the schools work with all pupils is to encourage independent learning. As part of the general day to day work with pupils and as part of the liturgical celebrations all pupils are provided with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility to discerning their feelings, aspirations and interests.
Our Behaviour policy and our school ethos and culture is one of constantly promoting respect for others, for example in our good manners, behaviour, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation. Within classroom teaching there are many opportunities for pupils to learn from and listen to each other. Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class discussion and debate is a key value and is role modelled by all adults.
The governing body is committed to providing accurate information and operating in a way which both leads and mirrors British values and the schools values.
Respect for different faiths
We “actively promote respect and tolerance for people of different faiths and beliefs”. Schools are expected to encourage their pupils to respect the right of people who have a faith or belief system that is different to theirs. Government guidance states, “it is not acceptable for schools to promote discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background.” Schools need to promote respect for people of different faiths and beliefs. This in no way diminishes their right to celebrate religious festivals; the law requires that RE and ACW be “wholly or mainly of a Christian character”. The promotion of ‘British values’ does not change this obligation.
Our weekly ACW timetable includes learning about Christianity and all other major world religions. We look at both contrast and commonality and explore themes, such as ‘Light’ that can be found within many religions. These are celebrated during whole school activity afternoons.
Throughout the year there are continuous opportunities to promote children’s safeguarding and improve skills and strategies for effective anti-bullying. The school policy is regularly revised and each year one week is devoted to anti bullying activities. Visitors and parents are involved in the work throughout the week and pupils are able to articulate how the school deals with bullying.