The DfE have reiterated a duty, “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 were reiterated again in 2014. At Eldersfield Lawn these are reinforced regularly in their own right as well as promoted through our Christian Values.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues pertinent to the pupils’ experience of school. The council is able to genuinely effect change within the school. One council member for each year group is voted in by their class.
When our school is used as a polling station, each class visits the station, usually set out in our hall, and see the process of voting in action.
Each class has an annual consultation in which they are able to put forward their views about the school and see how their views from last year have influenced what has happened in school this year.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through our school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils 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 pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils 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 or participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our Christian Values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Eldersfield is situated in an area which is not culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this and pupils visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Eldersfield we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. Staff have been trained to spot potential signs and we have a policy and reporting protocol in place which culminates in the Headteacher making referrals to the Police.