Equality and British Values
The William Allitt School is committed to educating our students to recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and constantly evolving nature of British society. The school is also dedicated to preparing them for adult life and ensuring that fundamental British values are promoted to all our students.
Ethos and Values
The five key British values are reinforced in our school in the following ways:
In the formal PSHE curriculum, our students are taught about the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries. Students are given the opportunity to make their views known both in formal academic settings and through our Student Council which represents and reports back to the forms in each Year Group.
- The Rule of Law
The school emphasises the importance of laws, by the enforcement of clear and consistently enforced rules of conduct, whether they be those that govern the classroom, everyday relationships between students, and also students and staff or behaviour outside the school gates. Through the formal curriculum and through school assemblies, students are taught the reasons why rules and laws are vital for the good of society, the responsibility that we all have to respect those rules and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from a number of authorities (all DBS checked) form a regular part of our calendar and help to reinforce this message.
- Individual Liberty
From Year Seven onwards we provide a safe and supportive environment in which students are actively encouraged to make informed choices. In addition to understanding their responsibilities to be good citizens both in school and out, students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. They are offered advice on how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through the decisions they make in the classroom or the extent to which they take the opportunity to participate in our extra-curricular clubs and extended education opportunities, students are given the freedom to make important choices.
- Mutual Respect
Our school ethos and behaviour policy has evolved around core values such as ‘respect’, and all our students take part in discussions and assemblies related to what the term means and how it is shown. Respect for others is considered part of the responsibility that students have in return for being trusted to speak their minds and make informed choices. The expectation that everyone within the school deserves respect is accepted by the vast majority of students and, as a result, the school is a safe and harmonious place in which to live and to learn.
- Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We believe that intolerance is usually the result of lack of knowledge and understanding. Consequently, we work hard to enhance students’ appreciation of what living in a culturally diverse society is like and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Discussions about prejudice in all its forms including prejudice-based bullying are regular features of RE and PSHE lessons as are visits by outside speakers and visits to local places of worship. These experiences are supported by our programme of theme – based assemblies.
All our students, regardless of their gender, colour, creed, ability, background or disadvantage, experience an education that is broad, balanced, relevant, differentiated and coherent. We encourage all students to achieve their full potential by developing into independent learners who are able to make valued judgments about their lives as individuals and as members of their local and wider communities.
The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of specific characteristics (referred to as protected characteristics). For schools, this means that it is unlawful to discriminate against students or treat them less favourably because of their gender; race; disability; religion or belief; gender reassignment; sexual orientation; pregnancy or maternity.
The Equality Act says that schools and other public bodies must:
- Encourage good relations and ensure everyone has equality of opportunity.
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- Help make sure everyone has an equal chance to make the most of their lives and talents.
In line with our duties under the Equality Act, we assess our existing practices in relation to equality and consider objectives to help us improve further.
These objectives are:
- Through the RISE curriculum, promote cultural understanding, awareness and respect of different religious beliefs between different ethnic groups within our school community.
- Working towards closing gaps in attainment and achievement between students and all groups of students; especially students eligible for free-school meals, students with special educational needs and disabilities, looked after children and students from minority ethnic groups.
- Continue to improve accessibility across the school for students, staff and visitors with disabilities, including access to specialist teaching areas.
- Endeavour to ensure that the staff body and representation of staff in leadership roles is reflective of the local community.
- Monitor and promote the involvement of all groups of students in the extra-curricular life of the school, including leadership opportunities, especially students with special educational needs and disabilities.
- Reduce the incidence of the use of homophobic, sexist and racist language by students in the school.