The Westminster School is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. It recognizes the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those it serves. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalization by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The school accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British Law, including pupils of all faiths or none. It follows the policies outlined by its governing body regarding equal opportunities, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. It seeks to serve all.
The Government emphasizes that schools are required to ensure that key “British Values” are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British Values in the “Prevent Strategy” – values of:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is, intentionally or otherwise undermining these values, you should report this to the Senior Leadership Team or Chair of Governors.
The school does, through a wide range of activities, uphold these standards and uses a number of strategies when delivering the curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for children. The list below outlines samples of when and where such British Values are shared and explored. The list is not exhaustive, and represents only some of what we do.
Developing the skill base required to access/share information, make/express decisions and apply these facets to society and the world around them. These include the understanding and use of money, effective writing and reading skills, collaborative work, to discuss and research ideas and concepts, and gain a broad and balanced understanding of the society in which they live. Aspects of study beyond core skills include the historical and geographical contexts of the United Kingdom, incorporating local, national evolution and internal comparisons.
Whole school daily acts of collective worship/assembly
The sharing of stories, images, events, music and expectations that, with clarity and precision, promote the values expressed. Such proceedings our modes of delivery in order to secure interest and understanding and are designed to impact on children regardless of knowledge, experience or cognitive maturity. As a “community school”, “collective worship” is non-denominational and recognizes that those attending may have a wide range of faiths, or none. It is however, in line with regulation and is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian Character”.
Gaining a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices, which covers key religions represented in the UK. Planning for the subject is directed by the “Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) – Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education”.
Promotion of democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns. Key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence. Pupils are encouraged to express their opinions and to discuss/debate views which differ from their own. They are provided with numerous opportunities to make positive contributions to the school and the local environment. They regularly raise monies for different charities and causes.