Gender-bias schools to face action

Witney Gazette: Education Secretary Michael Gove will take action if a school is not upholding British values Education Secretary Michael Gove will take action if a school is not upholding British values

Schools will face action if they discriminate against pupils based on their gender or fail to challenge religious prejudice u nder new government plans to promote British values in the classroom.

They will also be expected to confront pupils, parents or school staff that express intolerant or extremist views, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

The proposals are outlined in a new consultation document published by the DfE which has been drawn up in the wake of the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot by hardline Muslims to take over a number of schools in Birmingham.

Under the change, from this September, schools will have to "actively promote" British values such as democracy, tolerance, mutual respect, the rule of law and individual liberty.

The new regulations state that schools will have to show how they are embedding British values.

This includes challenging anyone that expresses opinions that are contrary to fundamental British values, and bans schools from discriminating against girls on the basis of their gender or encouraging prejudice against those of other faiths or beliefs.

It also states that extremism should "not form part of the curriculum or teaching and that students are encouraged to respect other people and no student is discriminated against".

The document warns: " A minimum approach, for example putting up posters on a notice board and organising an occasional visit to places of worship would fall short of 'actively promoting'.

"Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show how their work with pupils is effective in embedding fundamental British values."

The new rules allow the Education Secretary to take action if it is found that a school is not upholding British values.

It is thought that this could include closing down or taking over schools if necessary.

The changes apply to all independent schools, including academies and free schools, the DfE said, adding that Ofsted is due to bring in a similar requirement for local authority-run state schools later this year.

A DfE spokesman said: "Keeping our children safe and ensuring schools prepare them for life in modern Britain could not be more important. This change is an important step towards ensuring we have a strong legal basis for intervening in those schools where this is an issue.

"The vast majority of schools already promote British values - this is about making sure we have the tools we need to intervene if children are being let down."

Proposals for schools to "actively promote" British values were announced by Education Secretary Michael Gove earlier this month after it was confirmed that five Birmingham schools have been placed into special measures following inspections as part of investigations into the ''Trojan Horse'' allegations.

In a letter to the Commons education select committee outlining the reforms, Schools Minister Lord Nash said that the Government also intends to implement "new stronger powers to bar unsuitable people from managing independent schools".

He added that the Government is also planning to bring in new emergency powers that will allow them to close a school or impose restrictions if there are serious safeguarding concerns.

" The new powers will allow us to apply to a Justice of the Peace for an order to remove a school from the register of independent schools," the minister wrote.

"The school can appeal but may not operate during the appeal period."

Comments (6)

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4:25pm Mon 23 Jun 14

BertSanders says...

Seems a very reasonable direction and what I would expect in the UK, and I would also believe that it is already operational in Bradford Schools.
Seems a very reasonable direction and what I would expect in the UK, and I would also believe that it is already operational in Bradford Schools. BertSanders
  • Score: 1

5:18pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Spurs Fan says...

What exactly are British values Mr Gove? If you mean tolerance, fairness, equality etc say so, as these are universal values not exclusively British values. The minister should specify what he wants to actively support so there can be no area of doubt. If there is a problem of extremism in schools we need clear unambiguous guidelines not jingoistic rhetoric from the minister who knew what was going on in Birmingham schools as early as 2010.
What exactly are British values Mr Gove? If you mean tolerance, fairness, equality etc say so, as these are universal values not exclusively British values. The minister should specify what he wants to actively support so there can be no area of doubt. If there is a problem of extremism in schools we need clear unambiguous guidelines not jingoistic rhetoric from the minister who knew what was going on in Birmingham schools as early as 2010. Spurs Fan
  • Score: 2

5:43pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Popeonarope says...

Teach religion in non-religious schools. No bias, no indoctrination and no state funding of brain-washing our children. Education without fear.
Teach religion in non-religious schools. No bias, no indoctrination and no state funding of brain-washing our children. Education without fear. Popeonarope
  • Score: 1

6:22pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

"Schools will face action if they discriminate against pupils based on their gender"

Pretty much all schools that have different dress codes and uniforms for female and male pupils are discriminating on the grounds of gender. Let's hope that we'll see a crackdown on those schools that are intolerant of transgender children too and also those that do not recognise the rights of children who identify outside of the gender binary.
"Schools will face action if they discriminate against pupils based on their gender" Pretty much all schools that have different dress codes and uniforms for female and male pupils are discriminating on the grounds of gender. Let's hope that we'll see a crackdown on those schools that are intolerant of transgender children too and also those that do not recognise the rights of children who identify outside of the gender binary. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Mon 23 Jun 14

uncatom says...

I thought it was all ready illegal to discriminate against gender or hold religious bias, so those that have been practicing this behaviour have been given a get out of jail card, this has been done to save cries of discrimination from those that practice it, but are very adept at putting it forward at every opportunity.
I thought it was all ready illegal to discriminate against gender or hold religious bias, so those that have been practicing this behaviour have been given a get out of jail card, this has been done to save cries of discrimination from those that practice it, but are very adept at putting it forward at every opportunity. uncatom
  • Score: 1

8:07am Tue 24 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

"The vast majority of schools already promote British values"

Since we have private schools for the rich which produce the bulk of our leaders and comprehensives for the rest of us which produce the working masses, is this an admission that a divisely deferential class system based primarily on how wealthy one's parents may or may not be remains a quintessentially British value?;)
"The vast majority of schools already promote British values" Since we have private schools for the rich which produce the bulk of our leaders and comprehensives for the rest of us which produce the working masses, is this an admission that a divisely deferential class system based primarily on how wealthy one's parents may or may not be remains a quintessentially British value?;) Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 2
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