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Extremism & British Values

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by SPK482, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Dear all,

    I am not a head-teacher, but I have trespassed into this forum because I am writing a book on the topics of my post's title. I am a classroom teacher, but I am interested in contributions from anyone who either has thoughts on the government's request to teach British values as a counter to the lure of extremism, or anyone with experience of dealing with extremism in your schools.

    If anyone would like to contribute, please send me a PM.

    Best regards,

  2. fab208

    fab208 New commenter

    Well, in my opinion it is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I think the government has to be seen to be doing something so comes up with a half witted idea that even they can't explain, much less articulate as a vision of how it will have a lasting and meaningful impact on children's lives and social cohesion. The concept of British values is at best nebulous and too vague to be effectively taught in primary schools, at worst it is a load of jingoistic nonsense advocating all the 'values' of democracy and free speech that Britain likes to think it upholds, as long as the powers that be agree with the view you are expressing.

    So, a half baked idea comes out of the oven of Mr Gove/Ms Morgan and their wheeze factory, gets handed down to schools to actually implement, has us all running round trying to organise Prevent training and update policies as fast as Prevent can be discredited and a new idea introduced (Mr Cameron's speech today may yet lead us off on another thing we must all do to be seen to be combating and not condoning extremism), and - as usual - imaginative and responsive teachers do what they always do and find a way to make it work. Just in time for it to no longer be the thing we all have to do.

    In any case, I think that we are up against a cunning enemy in fighting extremism - sadly, I am not sure that schools can, or should, have an insight into the private lives of their students, and there is a real danger in expecting teachers, who are rarely trained or experienced in truly understanding different religious views and cultural approaches, to identify where something may be amiss. Yet again, another government initiative that is woefully ignorant, massively underfunded and running to stand still. So that is what I think, SPK482 (catchy name, by the way :) ) I am aware that this sounds negative - and I would not wish anyone reading this to think that I don't see safeguarding and caring for the children as a massive priority for us all, but I think it is expecting educators (and teachers are there first and foremost to TEACH) to police, promote and even proselytise because of social issues that are in no way their fault.
  3. Ruthiesword

    Ruthiesword New commenter

    I teach in a school without any ethnic diversity at all just because of the area the school serves, extremism for us is choosing a different fast food outlet for tea, our prevent training would be.....er......preventing us doing more useful work. We even struggled to really 'get' British values although we did write something down in time for inspection it wasn't really worth the paper! My families don't even leave the village they live in never mind leave for Syria, but obviously I will keep my eyes out.
  4. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Extremism comes in many forms - no ethnic diversity equals no extremism is totally wrong. My school no diversity (well hardly any) but extremism can come from far right, and even ALF lots more than some people are aware of.

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