Leeds West Academy actively promotes British Values through challenging opinions and behaviours in form time. Year 7 and 8 pupils study British Values within their weekly Citizenship lesson. This ensures that students are able to distinguish right from wrong and to have some knowledge of the civil and criminal law of Britain.
British Values are also delivered through Assemblies and through SPACE Days (Social, Personal and Citizenship Education) so that students are able to build respect for the democratic processes on which law is made and applied in Britain.
As part of our approach to British Values, we take very seriously our public sector equality duty (s.149 of the Equality Act 2010) which requires us to have due regard of the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under that Act;
- advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
- foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
At LWA the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for Student Parliament and Prefects. The principle of democracy is explored in Humanities as well as in as our SPACE Days and assemblies.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message as well as our ‘Prison me no way day’ for Year 8.
Within LWA students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As an academy we educate and provide boundaries for students to make safe choices, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in computing, Citizenship curriculum and their SPACE Day activities.
Respect is one of our core values and is modelled by students and staff alike. The academy promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy, students at LWA are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment in class where students are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school. Our curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. This is delivered across curriculum areas, in form, assemblies, citizenship lessons, and SPACE Days.
Preventing Radicalisation & Extremism
Terms and Definitions
- 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 – the process by which a person comes to support extremism or terrorism.
- Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism.
What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming involved in extreme actions, 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 radical 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 our students from extremist views the same way we protect them from abuse, substance misuse or gang violence. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for students to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
Why do students need to learn about radicalisation and extremism?
Education can be a powerful tool, equipping students with the knowledge, and skills to think for themselves, to challenge and to debate; and giving students the opportunity to learn about different cultures and faiths and to gain an understanding of the values we share. Exploring ideas, developing a sense of identity and forming views are a normal part of growing up. Our Academy can support students by providing a safe environment for discussing challenging issues and helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and how they can resist pressure and coercion assertively.
Leeds West Academy aims to build student resilience to radicalisation by promoting Modern British Values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop students debating controversial issues. On the contrary, students at Leeds West Academy are provided with a safe space in which they and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
Leeds West Academy is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its students. Every member of staff recognises that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society.