British Values and the Prevent strategy
How do we develop British Values at WILBERFOSS C of E Primary School?
You will have seen or heard about how the government is keen that schools have a focus on British values. The information below sets out how we currently teach each of these values.
We have a strong Christian ethos in school and are proud of our links with the local church and leaders of the Christian faith. We recognise that Christian Values and British Values are not necessarily the same thing, however we feel well placed to promote strong British Values within our existing ethos. Our school believes in honesty, trust, sharing, caring, being kind and having fun. We believe these values are both British, although not exclusively, and also Christian.
The Department for Education states 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural) development is really important to life at Wilberfoss and is a key way that we highlight and identify opportunities within the curriculum for children to understand, debate and consider other peoples views. You can read more on our SMSC page here.
What is the Prevent strategy?
‘Prevent’ is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.
The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.
This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence.
Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments
- Developing thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Prevent relate to British values?
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.
British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect.
The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.
We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
What do we do if there is a concern?
If we have a concern about a particular pupil we will follow the school’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the school’s designated safeguarding lead, and where deemed necessary, with children’s social care. In Prevent priority areas, the local authority will have a Prevent lead who can also provide support.
We may also contact the local police force or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to us in confidence about concerns and help us gain access to support and advice.
The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident In an emergency situation we will follow the recommended emergency procedures.
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support and be involved with extremist causes.