We actively promote inclusion, equality of opportunity, the valuing of diversity and British values.
Under the Equality Act 2010, which underpins standards of behaviour and incorporates both British and universal values, we have a legal obligation not to directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise those with protected characteristics. We make reasonable adjustments to procedures, criteria and practices to ensure that those with protected characteristics are not at a substantial disadvantage. [As we are in receipt of public funding we also have a public sector equality duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, foster good relations and publish information to show compliance with the duty.]
Social and emotional development is shaped by early experiences and relationships and incorporates elements of equality and British and universal values. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) supports children’s earliest skills so that they can become social citizens in an age-appropriate way, that is, so that they are able to listen and attend to instructions; know the difference between right and wrong; recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others; make and maintain friendships; develop empathy and consideration of other people; take turns in play and conversation; avoid risk and take notice of rules and boundaries; learn not to hurt/upset other people with words and actions; understand the consequences of hurtful/discriminatory behaviour.
The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the 2014 EYFS and are further clarified below, based on the Fundamental British Values in the Early Years guidance (Foundation Years 2015):
Democracy, or making decisions together (through the prime area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development)
As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness, practitioners encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging them to know that their views count, to value each other’s views and values, and talk about their feelings, for example, recognising when they do or do not need help.
Practitioners support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children are given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
Rule of law, or understanding that rules matter (through the prime area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development)
Practitioners ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequence.
Practitioners collaborate with children to create rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, the rules about tidying up, and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.
Individual liberty, or freedom for all (through the prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and Understanding the World)
Children should develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours, talking about their experiences and learning.
Practitioners encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example discussing in a small group what they feel about transferring into Reception Class.
Mutual respect and tolerance, or treating others as you want to be treated (through the prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and Understanding the World)
Practitioners create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
Children should acquire tolerance, appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions.
Practitioners encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions.
Practitioners promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural or racial stereotyping.
In our setting it is not acceptable to:
actively promote intolerance of other faiths, cultures and races
fail to challenge gender stereotypes and routinely segregate girls and boys
isolate children from their wider community
fail to challenge behaviours (whether of staff, children or parents) that are not in line with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs
Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we also have a duty “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”