The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values from September 2014, and to ensure they are actively promoted and adhered to in schools.
New Mills School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. New Mills School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and belief
The 2014 Departmental advice described the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British Values:
- 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 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 combating discrimination
New Mills School uses strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow are intended to give you just a taste of the many ways in which we seek to instil British Values.
Democracy can be seen as a state of society characterised by equality of rights and privileges. It can also refer to our nation's electoral systems.
In school we promote the importance of democracy through such things as:
- The free and fair election process for student positions of responsibility
- Students being encouraged to consider alternative pathways in lessons
- Student Voice on key school decisions through processes including surveys, school council committees, student voice scrutiny
- Students leadership programmes such as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors
- Strong adherence to our Equalities policy and objectives in line with the Equality Act 2010
The rule of law
All people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced.
In school we promote the importance of the rule of law through such things as:
- School code of conduct and behaviour and discipline policies
- Marking and feedback and homework policies set to clear boundaries, which are explained clearly to students and staff
- Accountability is stressed to all stakeholders including staff (Teacher's Standards), students (Student code of conduct) and Governors
Individual liberty suggests the free exercise of rights generally seen as outside Government control.
In school we promote the importance of individual liberty through such things as:
- A robust and clear anti-bullying culture and policy for all students and staff, which allows the opportunity for individual choices in a safe and supportive environment
- The increasing liberty afforded to students as they move up through the years
- Sixth Form students allowed to leave the site at certain times and at KS3 & 4 some PE groups are required to be taught off-site
- The wealth of extra-curricular activities and clubs available to all students
- Students actively encouraged to express views and opinions in lessons in a formative manner
- Students offered choice for their future academic pathways as they move through the Key Stages
- Opportunities for freedom of speech and expression through mediums such as the school newsletter, pupil voice etc.
The proper regard for an individual's dignity, which is reciprocated.
In school we promote the importance of mutual respect through such things as:
- New Mills School core learning values
- Clear guidance on the impact of good behaviour in all facets of school life
- Learning culture promotes students to take responsibility for their actions and the implications of negative behaviour on others
- The promotion and enforcement of impeccable uniform and appearance for students and staff
- Wellbeing promotes mutual respect through the skills developed in assemblies / drop-down days / PSHE and our broad and balanced curriculum
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
A fair, objective, and permissive attitude to those whose faith and beliefs may differ from one's own.
In school we promote the importance of tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs through such things as:
- Assemblies, tutorial sessions and drop down days
- Acceptance of faith symbolism
- Christmas service at the community Church
- Beliefs and values curriculum taught to all students across key stages 3 and 4