Fundamental British Values
Schools must promote Fundamental British Values: Democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Schools are also subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (radicalised). This duty is known as the Prevent Duty and is part of a schools wider safeguarding duties.
The Department of Education have placed a duty on schools “to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” The Government set out its definition of British values in the Prevent Strategy. At The Ridge Academy, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Children across school are taught about democracy within lessons using the Pink curriculum.
Children are encouraged to play an active part on the school council where they can influence decision making by having a voice and sharing their views and opinions regularly. Children are expected to complete an annual questionnaire which enables them to share their views of school and they are regularly asked in time for talk sessions with SLT what’s good and bad about school and what they’d like to change.
The Rule of Law
Children are taught the value of and the reasons why we have laws. They are taught that laws are made to help govern and protect us, the responsibilities that comes with this and the consequences when laws are broken. This is linked to our school rules and these enable us to demonstrate a practical example of the application of laws which are reinforced consistently across school,
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. In RE lessons, the difference between religious laws and the laws of the country are discussed.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, how they record their learning, participation in one of our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, children are given the freedom to make choices and decisions.
‘Tolerance and Acceptance – everyone is special, everyone is different’ is at the heart of the values we as a school expect and display. Children learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others and they need to have a constant awareness of this. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and is a key driver of our curriculum.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The Ridge Academy pupil population is predominantly White British. It is crucial therefore that we explore diversity with the children, so they gain tolerance to people who are different to themselves and are understanding and respectful. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of beliefs, countries, faiths and cultures beyond our children’s experiences. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforces this.
We will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing extremist and radical views.
PREVENTING RADICALISATION AND EXTREMISM
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind.
Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
Please see these websites for more information on preventing radicalisation and extremism for parents teachers and school leaders
The Governing Body and staff of The Ridge Academy have a zero tolerance approach to extremist behaviour for all school community members. We rely on our strong values and ethos to steer our work and ensure the pastoral care of our children protects them from exposure to negative influences.
The Academy and Trust is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its children. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values.
- Children are encouraged expected to adopt our core value of “tolerance and acceptance – everyone is special, everyone is different”. This complements the key “British Values” of tolerance, respect, understanding, compassion and harmonious living.
- Children are helped to understand the importance of democracy and freedom of speech, through school council, assemblies and the PSHE curriculum
- Children are taught how to keep themselves safe, in school and when using the internet.
- Children participate in local community events so that they appreciate and value their neighbours and friends who may not share their background.
- Children’s well being, confidence and resilience are promoted through our core values and school aims.
- Children are supported in making good choices from a very young age, so they understand the impact and consequences of their actions on others.
THE ROLE OF THE CURRICULUM
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. Children are encouraged to express themselves through discussions, debates and consultations. The RE (Religious Education), PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), Citizenship and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) provision is embedded across the curriculum, and underpins the ethos of our school.
Although any incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at the academy thus far, it is important for us to remain vigilant and fully informed about the issues which affect the area in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the DSL (designated safeguarding leads)
From the DfE "Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools"
Schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with schools’ duty to provide SMSC. The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.
Through their provision of SMSC, schools should:
- enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
- further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
- encourage respect for other people; and
- encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values.
- 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 combating discrimination