The Department for 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 Friary School is committed to serving its community and recognising the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the Britain. We are dedicated to ensuring all students are provided with a safe and secure environment so they can grow and flourish in our school.

Consequently, our commitment to equal opportunities means that we do not tolerate any discrimination against any individuals or groups, whether down to their faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.

Within this expectation, we are committed to ensuring that our students are well-prepared to play an active and conducive role in British society and hold the key values that reflect the outlook and thinking of our country.

The government categorises these British values into five key groups in their Prevent Strategy (2011) which are as follows:

1 – Democracy

This principle is fundamental to our daily work and plays a central role in developing and improving our school. All students get the chance to express their views and motivations through their tutor time presentations, assemblies and projects, and to take part in regular questionnaires and surveys in order to gather their views.

Furthermore, our School Council and Sixth Form Council are elected solely by the students and involve presentations and hustings to inform democratic choice. Additionally, students get to meet with the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body directly so to express their views on the school and its development.

2 – The Rule of Law

The importance of obeying laws and the enforcement of rules is present in our everyday school life, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country. They are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies, and include a commitment to restorative justice.

Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us; the responsibilities that this involve; and the consequences when rules are broken. Indeed, the expectation to take ‘responsibility’ and the need to be clear, just and fair in your actions is paramount to establishing our school ethos. This outlook is fostered in many ways; for example, via our ACE meetings, extra-curricular activities, group-work and student voice / leadership schemes.

We also stage regular visits by law-making authorities, whether it be the police, fire service, transport authorities, armed services, community organisations or politicians, so that the message is reinforced both directly and indirectly.

Nonetheless, in accordance with the British right to protest, our students can challenge or debate school rules through tutor time discussions, the Student Council, the Debating Society or via our periodic suggestion boxes.

3 – Individual Liberty

Within school, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young students to make these choices safely and enable them to present informed and justified views through an empowering education.

Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are given advice on how to exercise these safely; for example, through our Anti-Bullying or E-Safety Weeks, Drugs Awareness & Sexual Health workshops, our PHSEE and RE lessons, as well as via the wider curriculum.

Equally, this individuality is fostered through the logging and recording of active engagement in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities; whether it be drama and music productions, sports teams, aspiration visits, residentials, guest lectures, etc.

4 – Mutual Respect

Respect for another is a central pillar of this supporting our values as it provides a clear expectation that underpins the maturity, ambition and dedication that all are expected to demonstrate themselves and value in others. This ties into out anti-extremism message which actively explores and discourages any
vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values.

This ethos demands a tolerance of others and pastoral classes and assemblies are key drivers in relating this to the behaviours and attitudes that best reflect it. These sessions can involve student-led presentations or centrally directed themes connected to social and cultural events from across the world; Eg – British Food Week, Gay Pride Week, Refugee Week, etc.

Elsewhere, posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our behaviour policy.

5 – Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs

This focus is achieved through enhancing students understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.

Assemblies incorporate all major religions and are usually student-led so to deepen the student voice and understanding of the different themes. Furthermore, discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been pursued and are supported by learning in RE (following the agreed local syllabus), PSHEE, Focus Weeks and more widely across the curriculum.

Furthermore, all students are regularly asked if they feel safe at school and we have clear policies relating to anti-bullying, anti-radicalisation, etc.

If you require further information on our British Values or PREVENT / Anti-Extremism work then please contact Mr Ian Rose, Deputy Headteacher, via school reception (Tel 01543 267 400).