Promoting British Values
The Department for Education (DfE) state that there is a need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all 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 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. In addition, guidance was published by the DfE in November 2014 and states that as part of SMSC provision schools should:
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 guidance also gives specific examples of the understanding and knowledge that is expected of students:
- 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.
At Hungerhill School, these values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health, and Emotional (PSHE), Citizenship and Religious Education (RE). We also teach British values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum.
Hungerhill School takes opportunities to actively promote British values through form time, our assemblies, and whole school systems and structures, such as electing and running a successful School Council, and electing Year 11 Student Leaders. We also actively promote the British values through ensuring our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British values also means challenging students, staff, or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.
At Hungerhill School we uphold and teach students about the British Values which are defined as:
- Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is an important value at our school. Student leadership opportunities exist throughout Hungerhill School. The positions of Head Boy, Head Girl, and Student Leaders are established through an election process, which involves the nomination and selection of candidates, running a ‘campaign,’ and a democratic vote. A regular feature of our Awards Mornings are ‘Student Choice’ presentations.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Hungerhill School has established a clear set of ‘Core Values’ which aim to support individual progress, respect for others, and the recognition that the school is a shared community with common values. We also work closely with local agencies such as the police, PCSOs, and Youth Offending Service.
Within school, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for our students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum, and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand, and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety teaching and delivery of sessions on alcohol, drugs, and SRE.
All staff are informed of the key elements of the PREVENT agenda as part of our on-going work on safeguarding.
Respect is one of the core values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our pervading ethos in school. The students know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing students’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudiced-based bullying have covered areas such as homophobia, disability, and racism. The school monitors incidents that involve those of ‘protected characteristics’ and notifies the local authority of any concerns. The school also seeks to do its own work on reconciliation/restorative practice.
From 1st July 2015, all schools are subject to a duty under Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA 2015) to have due regard to the need to prevent students from being drawn into terrorism.
If a parent, member of the public, or member of staff has any reason to believe a student may be at risk, we ask that you inform the Child Protection Officer (Mrs J Laidlaw), the Deputy Headteacher (Mr P Storey), or the Headteacher (Mrs L Pond) immediately.
If appropriate, a referral will be made to the channel programme.