Promoting Fundamental British Values
Section 78 of the Education Act 2002 requires schools to ‘promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils’. The aims of Lordswood Girls’ School and the Lordswood Sixth Form Centre underpin the school’s commitment to creating a learning community which values all individuals and promotes tolerance and understanding. The rich cultural diversity of the school and Sixth Form Centre is very much a strength, enabling all members of the school community, irrespective of their faith or ethnicity, to work together in a supportive and caring environment characterised by positive relationships founded on mutual respect and high standards of behaviour both in and outside the classroom.
Through the curriculum, students develop an understanding of different faiths, fundamental human rights and the importance of democracy in creating a fair, tolerant well-ordered society. In addition, student leadership through the School and Sixth Form Councils enables students to experience democratic processes and to appreciate their importance. Students are taught to recognise discrimination and to adopt the necessary behaviour and attitudes to challenge this and to promote tolerance and harmony through an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures. Curriculum activities such as debates, participation in mock elections, fund raising and organisation of events also provide opportunities for students to develop their self-confidence and initiative and to make a positive contribution to the life of the school and society beyond. Furthermore, the school’s Praise & Rewards and Behaviour policies encourage the development of students’ self-esteem and encourage them to accept responsibility for their behaviour.
Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation
From 1 July 2015 all schools, are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. Lordswood Girls’ School and the Lordswood Sixth Form Centre are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all students and safeguarding against radicalisation thus falls within the school’s safeguarding responsibilities. More details about the school’s work in protecting students can be found in the Trust’s Safeguarding Policy and its Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding Policy.
The Government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces”.
At Lordswood Girls’ School and the Lordswood Sixth Form Centre, there is no place for extremist views of any kind, whether from internal sources – students, staff or governors, or external sources – the wider school community, external agencies or individuals. The creation of a learning environment where students can explore controversial issues safely is crucial as is the need to equip them with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking, to challenge and debate in an informed way. In addition to the input through citizenship and the tutor programme, students are also made aware of the potential risks they face in relation to online radicalisation through the school’s e-safety programme and they are encouraged to report any concerns they have to their Review or Achievement Co-ordinator. Students can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from a variety of sources, including the internet and social media and at times students may themselves reflect or display views that may be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language. 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 the school’s Behaviour Policy (students) or the Trust’s Disciplinary Policy (staff).
The school will work with parents, families and communities to keep children safe.
The school will help to support learners who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of their wider safeguarding responsibilities and where they believe a learner is being directly affected by extremist materials or influences they will ensure that that learner is offered mentoring. In addition, in such instances the school will seek external support from the Local Authority and other agencies working to prevent extremism (see information below).
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Birmingham: 0121 308 1888
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Sandwell: 0845 351 0131
Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU): 0345 113 5000 ext. 7849 6541
Parents who have concerns about their children should make the school aware. In addition to materials produced by local authorities and the police e.g. the “Prevent Tragedies” online campaign launched by the Police (http://www.preventtragedies.co.uk/), there are online resources produced by civil society groups which provide valuable advice, e.g. ‘Families Matter’ (http://www.familiesmatter.org.uk/), run by Families Against Stress and Trauma.