Alec Reed Academy is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. It recognises the multicultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those it serves. 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.
ARA accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British law, including pupils of all faiths or none. It follows the policies outlined by its governing body regarding equality, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.
The Government requires all schools to actively promote fundamental British values, in order to improve safeguarding; strengthen the barriers to extremism; ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background and to ensure young people leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. This aligns with all schools’ obligations under section 78 of the Education Act (2002), as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, social (SMSC), mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society.
The fundamental British values, first set out by the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 2011 and reinforced through further Department for Education advice in November 2014 are:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with our school’s duty to provide SMSC. The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.
The following list describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of our school 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 the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- an acceptance that 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
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination
Below are some examples of actions we take to promote British values at Alec Reed Academy:
Curriculum - Across the curriculum, opportunities are built into lessons for pupils to explore and practise fundamental British values, either through topics studied or by following the school’s general structures and behaviour expectations. Schemes of learning include age appropriate opportunities to study community cohesion, conflict resolution, democracy, youth voice, local government, human rights, the law and justice, diversity, the European Union and global citizenship as well as learning about different religions and why people worship.
Wider School Life - Our school vision, values and general ethos support the fundamental British values and we have a strong emphasis on the development of SMSC across the school. Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. There is a full programme of assemblies with a particular emphasis on positivity, respect, aspiration, tolerance and diversity. A number of year 10, year 11 and Post 16 pupils have been trained as Peer Mentors, ensuring that pupils from all year groups can learn from each other and have the opportunity to act as positive role models. Pupils vote on charities to support and regularly organise fundraising activities for these.
Pupil Voice - We promote democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns. Key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence.
Ongoing Opportunities - We use local and national opportunities that arise to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view - for example our debating club.
Extra-curricular - There is a wide range of sporting, creative and academic activities to choose from, including basketball, rugby, football, athletics, drama, choir, ICT and many more. These promote self-development, self-esteem, confidence, understanding of the concept of ‘fair play’, following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others. There are numerous visits and residential trips organised throughout the academic year and the Challenge week programme which are designed to widen pupils’ perspectives.