Dealing with Extremism Statement

Our Lady and St Joseph School

Dealing with Extremism Statement

 

Introduction

                   This policy is a summary of our existing policy and practice rather than a new departure. However it has been formalised into a policy to make clear our response to the threat of radicalisation and extremism.

 

Teaching staff

                       All members of staff are made aware through the process of Performance Management of their fundamental responsibilities in this area. The Performance Management reviewers evaluate their reviewees against the Standards for Teachers, including these elements in Part 2 of the Standards:

‘showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others’

‘not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’

‘ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways which exploit pupils’ vulnerability or might lead them to break the law’

Teachers must not promote partisan political views in the teaching of any subject and are required to ensure that whenever political issues are brought to the attention of pupils a balanced presentation of the opposing views are also explained.

The staff and governors, aspire to ensure that all our pupils, irrespective of ability and regardless of anyone’s doubts, achieve their potential in full. Any teacher failing to comply with these requirements would be liable to disciplinary action.

 

The Curriculum and Combating Extremism

The core Catholic values of the school informs the curriculum, as it does all aspects of our work. The values include the following – honesty, thoughtfulness, respect for others, taking care of each other and only using polite words.

We endeavour to promote personal responsibility and understanding the differences between right and wrong. We also promote respect and the understanding of the need for rules.

The school takes every opportunity for the development in the personal and spiritual aspects of the pupils so enabling the children to become positive and emotionally resilient adults with the knowledge and confidence to challenge ideas that they do not agree with. Some of the most valuable work in combating extremism at Our Lady and St Joseph School is carried out in PSHE lessons and Religious Education. We try to ensure that tolerance and understanding are championed through learning about diversity. The school aims to be a safe place for children to share their views within the acknowledged respectful culture of the learning environment.

 

The use of the Internet and other Electronic Means

It is strictly forbidden to use the school’s website, IT facilities or other elements of the information management systems or processes for the promotion, planning or execution of violent extremism in the name of ideology or belief.

The school reserves the right to exercise control over all activities on its IT facilities and networks, including the monitoring of systems and electronic communications and access to external electronic resources.           

The school recognises its obligations under legislation relating to the prevention of terrorism, in particular the requirement to respond within two working days to requests from the police to remove or amend any statement published on the school hosted website that may appear to encourage or promote terrorism.

 

Freedom of Speech within the school premises

The school is committed to the principle of free speech. Therefore so far as it is reasonably practicable, access to the school premises is not denied to any pupil or employee or any individual or body of persons invited to the school by a pupil or member of staff on any grounds related to the beliefs or views of the student, employee or invited persons. Nor is access denied due to the policies or objectives of that body.

Where the expression of such beliefs, views, policies or objectives are unlawful and where it is deemed these might be expressed on the school site, the school reserves the right for these beliefs etc not to be expressed on the school site.

The school recognises the needs to balance the rights of the freedom of speech with the provisions of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 which outlaws the use of threatening words or behaviour, or the display of any threatening written material, with the intent to stir up religious hatred.

 

Reporting Arrangements

The school recognises the importance of identifying and taking action to prevent or remove behaviour or activity described in this policy. All staff and other individuals connected with the school play a vital role in reporting concerns relating to the behaviour described in this policy. The procedures are based upon the principles of the school’s Whistleblowing Policy. Where children are concerned a disclosure should be treated as a child protection issue and the appropriate steps taken.

If a concern is raised suitable action will be taken in consultation with the relevant authorities both within and outside the school. If the disclosure involves the Head teacher, then the individual is required to contact the Chair of Governors.

 

Review

This statement is to be reviewed every 3 years or sooner if necessary in the light of specific events or relevant statutory changes.

June 2015