Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Ouseley Lord Ouseley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to tackle, through the education curriculum, the increasing level of hate crimes.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

All schools are required to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faith and beliefs. Our guidance published in November 2014 says that British values include accepting that different faiths or beliefs should be tolerated and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour. This guidance is attached and can be found online at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380595/SMSC_Guidance_Maintained_Schools.pdf

All schools are required to promote community cohesion and teach a broad and balanced curriculum. The curriculum provides many opportunities to foster tolerance and understanding. As part of the History curriculum, pupils can learn about different cultures, and about how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain. The citizenship programme of study sets out a requirement for pupils to be taught about ‘the diverse national, regional, religious, and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding’. PSHE can teach young people about the rights and responsibilities of living in a diverse community and how to respect others.

All forms of bullying are unacceptable and all schools are required to have in place a behaviour policy with measures to tackle bullying. Schools are held to account by Ofsted and inspectors will look at records and analysis of bullying, discriminatory and prejudicial behaviour, either directly or indirectly, including racist, disability and homophobic bullying, use of derogatory language and racist incidents.

We have made it clear to schools that where bullying outside school is reported to school staff, it should be investigated and acted on. If the behaviour could be criminal or poses a serious threat to a member of the public, the police should always be informed.

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