British Values and Prevent
FUNDAMENTAL BRITISH VALUES STATEMENT
The Mirfield Free Grammar and Mirfield College is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. It recognises the multicultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those it serves. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the Academy are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The Academy is broadly Christian and accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British law, including students of all faiths or none. It follows the policies outlined by its Governing Body regarding equality, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. It seeks to serve all.
The Government requires all schools to actively promote fundamental British values, in order to improve safeguarding; strengthen the barriers to extremism; ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background and to ensure young people leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. This aligns with all schools’ obligations under section 78 of the Education Act (2002), as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, social (SMSC), mental and physical development of students at the Academy and of society.
The fundamental British values, first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011 and reinforced through further Department for Education advice in November 2014 are:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with our Academy’s 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 the Academy. This includes not undermining fundamental British values, indeed they are an intrinsic part of our values (Respect, Integrity, Teamwork and Aspiration).
The following list describes the understanding and knowledge expected of students as a result of our Academy promoting fundamental British values,
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- 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 appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety
- an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- an acceptance that 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
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination
Below are some examplesof actions wetake to promote British values at The Mirfield Free Grammar and Mirfield College.
- Mission and Values determine our ethos and support the fundamental British values and we have a strong emphasis on the development of SMSC across the Academy. Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Posters around the Academy promote respect for others. with a particular emphasis on our values, Respect, Integrity, Teamwork and Aspiration
- Curriculum - Across the curriculum, opportunities are built into lessons for students to explore and practise fundamental British values, either through topics studied or by following the Academy's general structures and behaviour codes. Citizenship schemes of learning include age appropriate opportunities to study community cohesion, conflict resolution, democracy, youth voice, local government, human rights, the law and justice, diversity, they European Union and global citizenship. Students learn about why people worship and the different religions they follow, religious and non-religious responses to world issues, science and religion, prejudice, the right to life and the impact of beliefs on moral behaviour. Students develop skills in evaluating others' opinions and explaining their own.
- Student Voice - We promote democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns. Key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence. There is a tiered system of democratically elected year councils and a school council, which meet regularly to discuss /effect positive changes to the Academy.
- Ongoing Opportunities - We use local and national opportunities that arise to promote fundamental British values and provide students with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view.
- Extra-curricular - There is a wide range of sporting, creative and academic activities to choose from, including; netball, rounders rugby, football, athletics, badminton. basketball, trampolining, science club, chess club, drama club, choir, music groups, ICT, film and book clubs, creative writing, DT club, home learning, library, STEM group activities,
There are numerous visits and residential trips organised to widen students’ perspectives.
Should you feel that the Academy is not meeting its requirement with regard to fundamental British values, you should contact the Academy and request to express your concerns with a member of the Senior Team. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the Academy is, intentionally or otherwise, undermining these values, you should report this to the Senior Team.
The Mirfield Free Grammar and Mirfield College are committed to providing a secure environment for students, where children feel safe and are kept safe. All adults in our Academy recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility irrespective of the role they undertake or whether their role has direct contact or responsibility for children or not.
This ‘Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding’ statement is one element within our overall Academy arrangements to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of all Children in line with our statutory duties set out at s175 of the Education Act 2002.
The full Government Prevent Strategy can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protecting-children-from-radicalisation-the-prevent-duty
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our Academy. Our students see our Academy as a safe place of learning for them to develop to their full potential. As an Academy we recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for students and so should be addressed as a safeguarding concern for the Academy.
Extremists of all persuasions aim to develop destructive relationships between different communities by promoting division, fear and mistrust of others based on ignorance or prejudice and thereby limiting the life chances of young people. Education is a powerful weapon against this; equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking to challenge and debate in an informed way. We therefore will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that our students are enriched, understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and not marginalised.
We are also aware that young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age which emanate from a variety of sources and media. In our society the internet and social networking sites are playing a significant part in the radicalisation of young people. It is extremely important the Academy is supported by parents in ensuring that they are aware of their son's or daughter's activities on the internet and social networking to ensure the safety of their children. It is also the responsibility of communities beyond the Academy to ensure that our young people are given the skills and understanding to identify extremist influences and prejudiced views. Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language displayed by students or staff will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our Personal Development Policy for students and the Code of Conduct for staff.
All staff should treat disclosures or wider concerns about Prevent issues as Safeguarding issues and make immediate referrals to the Designated Safeguarding Lead using the established safeguarding referral process.
The Academy aims to eradicate the myths and assumptions that can lead to some young people becoming alienated and disempowered, especially where the narrow approaches children may experience elsewhere may make it harder for them to challenge or question these radical influences. In our Academy this will be achieved by high quality teaching, not only through our PSHCE programmes but also through tutorial programmes, assemblies and curriculum provision. We will ensure that all of our teaching approaches help our students build resilience to extremism and give students a positive sense of identity through the development of critical thinking skills. We will ensure that all of our staff are equipped to recognise extremism and are skilled and confident enough to challenge it. Our goal is to build mutual respect and understanding and to promote the use of dialogue not violence as a form of conflict resolution.
At our Academy we will promote the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. We will teach and encourage students to respect one another and to respect and tolerate difference, especially those of a different faith or no faith. It is indeed our most fundamental responsibility to keep our students safe and prepare them for life in modern multi-cultural Britain and globally.