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British Values

Why does St Ivo Academy have a British values statement?

The DfE 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 Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated during 2014-2015. For example, the Ofsted School inspection handbook August 2015 stated: ‘for judging the effectiveness of leadership and management in schools, inspectors will consider: ‘how well the school prepares pupils positively for life in modern Britain and promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith’.

St Ivo is committed to serving and celebrating all of its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. 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. St Ivo follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no acceptance of discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.

The government has stated that the five key British Values are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At St Ivo Academy these values are part of our school life, as outlined below.


A system of government that involves people in decision making e.g. voting to elect representatives to Parliament.

  • Student voice: Elected representatives to Year councils & the sixth Form committee for debates & decisions; consultation during Headteacher appointments and school meal contracts; regular Headteacher meetings with students.
  • Mock General elections: Local constituency candidates visit and make speeches to sixth formers, who then hold a mock election.
  • Curriculum: British values are mapped across subjects; Sixth Form Politics A level.
  • IvoView: Parents/carers complete ‘IvoView’ surveys to provide feedback & suggest improvements. The St Ivo website responds with ‘You said, we did’.
  • Surveys: Students & staff are consulted on issues using Surveymonkey e.g. behaviour, study facilities.
  • Local democratic figures: links, visits & talks: e.g. MPs (John Major, Jonathan Djanogly), councillors, mayors.
  • Educational visits: Parliament.

Rule of Law

Restricting arbitrary power with clear laws, applying equally to all.

  • Laws: The importance of laws for governing Britain is noted in PSHE/SMSC, assemblies, & calendared visits from authorities e.g. Police community officer, Fire Service, road safety.
  • Behaviour: Students respect the value and reasons behind the highly visible policy: ‘Outstanding behaviour – nothing less will do’
  • Safeguarding and whistle blowing: St Ivo is relentless on safeguarding and encourages ‘whistle blowing’ from staff and students when it is felt that rules are not being upheld.
  • Curriculum: The Sixth Form offers Law A level.
  • Educational visits: Old Bailey.
  • ‘Peers in Schools’ scheme: The visit of Lord Balfe to the school for Law and Politics students.

Individual Liberty

The ability of individuals to freely exercise rights, with responsibility.

  • The right to access equal learning opportunities & make rapid progress is stressed by the school’s focus on: ‘Fulfilling Potential’; English as an Additional Language classes for those new to English, which involves a programme of study to increase access to the curriculum and aid integration.
  • T&L Strategy (strand 5) activates students as owners of their own learning.
  • Choices: Students are encouraged to make informed choices in a safe and supportive environment e.g. subject options.
  • The right not to tolerate bullying at school.
  • Empowerment: Encourage students to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms in a responsible way e.g. through assemblies, E-Safety, PSHE lessons.
  • Encourage inclusive participation in extra-curricular opportunities to empower self-knowledge, self-esteem & confidence.
  • Charity fundraising activities: e.g. non-uniform days; Pakistan earthquake appeal.
  • Educational visits & theatre visits: Somme battlefields; visit to the school by ‘Looking Glass Theatre’ to perform WWI play ‘Killed’; Remembrance 11am ceremony at St Ivo to mark WWI Armistice Day. Each item helps reflection about the range of British values.

Mutual Respect

  • Our non-selective 11-18 comprehensive: pursues equal learning access, respect & an inclusive ethos for all learners.
  • Learning ethos: St Ivo stresses mutual respect for all learners in their pursuit of the school statement ‘Fulfilling Potential’, and refers to being ‘Responsible, Respectful, Resilient, Resourceful, Reflective’.
  • ‘Behaviour for Learning’ policy: promotes mutual respect, and allows contemplation in the Reflection Room.
  • Challenging students, staff and parents who express opinions contrary to fundamental British values. Incidents of prejudice are recorded, actively followed up and monitored through our logging system.
  • PSHE and Learning4Life programme: includes Healthy Sex and Relationships Education (HSRE), including rights and responsibilities, the notion of consent, trust and respect; enrichment events e.g. L4L focus on immigration, law and order.
  • Cultural difference: comparison and celebration e.g. international exchange link with a school in India.
  • Community cohesion: Ethnically diverse reading club using texts to discuss British culture and cohesion; coffee mornings, contact cards and a liaison officer to encourage ethnically diverse parental participation; translators used at some parents’ evenings.
  • Respect for our learning and living environments: Eco-Ivo activities.
  • Effort, progress and attendance: are respected and rewarded e.g. merit system; praise assemblies.
  • Community links: e.g. history students visiting care homes; mosque visits and meetings with community leaders.
  • Encouraging & respecting views from all stakeholders: students (Year Councils); staff (Surveymonkey, staff meetings); parents (Parent Forum; IvoView); Governors (Committees); ‘comply or explain’ responses to advisers, & partner schools.

Tolerance of those with different faiths & beliefs

  • Encouraged by enabling students to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures. This is achieved through enhancing student understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving students opportunities to experience such diversity. E.g. (see below)
  • International links: MFL exchanges; RE India exchange
  • Workshops e.g. Japan Day, including drummers.
  • Educational visits: Auschwitz, Vietnam, S. Africa, India, St Ives places of worship e.g. parish church and mosque.
  • Assemblies and subjects: e.g. RE/ethics & philosophy, history, geography, English, PSHE/SMSC, provide opportunities for discussions and debate that consider prejudices, cultural identity and diversity. Such activities help students to prepare for life as a citizen in a diverse but cohesive modern Britain.
  • Focus weeks: e.g. Anti-homophobia; Empathy
  • Equal opportunities policy