British Values and the Prevention of Radicalisation
The Department of Education have recently reinforced the 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 have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Thomas Adams these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Students are actively encouraged to have a voice and share their views and opinions regularly. Our active school council is one such example. Each form elects a representative to stand on the Year Council for each year group in KS3 and KS4, then further representatives are chosen to attend the full school council which is run by the Head Boy and Girl and Deputies. Suggestions are minuted in and acted on, with the Head Boy/Girl reporting to the SLT. The House Captains are also elected and asked to take the lead on a number of school competitions, enterprises and endeavours in Sports, Charity, Media and Citizenship.
Similarly in the College students elect their own representatives for the College Committee. Students are also asked to participate in the Academic Forum which feeds back student responses re teaching and learning issues. The College also uses election times to invite local politicians to be interviewed and run its own election special.
All students also complete an annual questionnaire which provides them with the opportunity to share their views of Thomas Adams and suggest ways in which the school could be improved further.
Governors also talk regularly to children to establish their views as a way of ensuring that school self-evaluation is robust and accurate, and therefore effective in moving the school forward.
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 the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Our schools rules, rewards and sanctions which are referred to regularly and consistently upheld, are a practical example of this. Prefects are chosen from the Year 11 students in order to help, guide and monitor the behaviour of younger students during break and lunchtimes.
Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make decisions and choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to take risks and make choices safely. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our PSHE lessons and through informative talks via assemblies and special programmes.
Increasing independence is given throughout the school as students mature.
Students are encouraged to increasingly take responsibility for their own decisions and choices whether that is in the learning environment or in preparing for future careers.
The Adams Aware Group (ADA) meet weekly to discuss wider issues, for example covering topics in the news, charity work and crisis, for instance refugees, pollution, homelessness and poverty.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Students 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
Whilst Thomas Adams is situated in an area which is not culturally diverse, we do have a Boarding House of 60 students who come from countries across the world, which we feel broadens our students’ horizons and encourages mutual tolerance and respect. Any lack of tolerance or negativity will be challenged. We place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the students. Students are encouraged to explore issues in areas across the curriculum like English, History, Drama and music.
Please see our policies on Preventing Radicalisation, E-Safety, Child Safety.
At Thomas Adams we will actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including those expressing ‘extremist’ views.