All schools are required to actively promote our shared values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. Schools are also required to promote equality and respect for others, with particular regard to the protected characteristics. Promotion of these values is part of Ofsted’s inspection framework and the department has published guidance to schools on promoting these important values as part of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
In 2016, the department also launched the Educate Against Hate website which provides resources for teachers and school leaders to support their promotion of these values. This includes the department’s Respectful Schools Communities toolkit; a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline.
Additionally, subject to the passage of regulations through parliament, schools will be required to teach relationships education to all primary pupils and relationships and sex education to all secondary pupils from September 2020. The focus is on building positive, respectful relationships, including online, and understanding the impact of harmful stereotypes and bullying.
The department also supports a number of specific initiatives in schools to combat bullying. The department is providing over £2.8 million of funding, between September 2016 and March 2020, to 4 anti-bullying organisations to support schools to tackle bullying. This includes projects targeting bullying of particular groups, such as those who are victims of hate-related bullying, along with a project to report bullying online. These projects contribute towards the government’s Hate Crime Action plan.
Finally, as part of our commitments in the government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan, the department has funded an expanded national school linking programme. This seeks to encourage meaningful social mixing between different types of schools and foster understanding of those with different backgrounds, faiths and beliefs. Last year, the Linking Network worked with over 400 schools leading to 17,635 pupils taking part in activities supporting integration.