Responding to speakers promoting messages of hatred and intolerance

1. Introduction

This “No Platform Policy” aims to ensure that Yew Tree Community School balances the right of freedom of speech against the potential use of its facilities for the promotion of extremist ideological, religious or political beliefs. In this context beliefs are considered to be extremist if they include the expression of racist or fascist views; if they incite hatred based on religious interpretation, ideology or belief; or if they promote discrimination on the grounds of political opinion, age, colour, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital status, race, religion or sexual orientation.

This model policy is based on the No Platform Policy of Birmingham City Council, which will be found at www.lscbbirmingham.org.uk/index.php/policies-and-procedures-pro

This provides further information and, in particular, Appendix 1 has guidelines on conducting research into the background of potential speakers.

 

2. Definitions

 

Extremism” is defined by the Government in the Prevent Strategy as:

 

“Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, includingdemocracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.”

 

Not every part of this definition has to be satisfied for a particular individual or organisation to be regarded as extremist.”

 

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination, harassment or victimisation on the basis of the “protected characteristics”. These are:

 

Age;               Race;                     Disability;             Gender reassignment;

 

Marriage and civil partnership;                           Pregnancy and maternity;

 

Religion or belief;                     Sex; and                               Sexual orientation.

 

The Terrorism Act 2000 establishes a list of “proscribed organisations”. These are organisations that the Home Secretary believes are concerned in terrorism. It is an offence to belong to a proscribed organisation or to invite support for a proscribed organisation. This includes arranging, managing or addressing a meeting that is intended to support the activities of a proscribed organisation

 

A list of proscribed organisations and full details of the proscription offences can be found at -

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/322142/20140620-List_of_Proscribed_organisations_WEBSITE.pdf

 

3. Principles

 

The Principles on which this policy is based are -

  • No person may use the facilities of Yew Tree Community School to express or promote extremist ideological, religious or political views.
  • No person may use the facilities of Yew Tree Community School to express or promote discriminatory views in relation to the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Yew Tree Community School will not allow the use of its facilities by any group or organisation that is proscribed by HM Government.

4. Electronic Communication

 

Yew Tree Community School will not allow the use of the school website, IT facilities or information management processes to:

  • Promote discriminatory views in relation to the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010;
  • Promote or glorify terrorism; or
  • Promote extreme ideological, religious or political beliefs.

The school has a right to exercise control over all activities on its IT facilities, including electronic communications associated with the name of the school and use of school equipment to access external resources. This includes the right to monitor the use of school resources.

5. Written and Printed Communication

Yew Tree Community School has the right to exercise control over the content of any written or printed material that identifies itself as associated with the school. It will not allow the use of its facilities in the production of such material, or permit the use of its name, or of any identifying marks relating to the school, in such material, if that material appears to

  • Promote discriminatory views in relation to the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010;
  • Promote or glorify terrorism; or
  • Promote extreme ideological, religious or political beliefs.

6. Use of Buildings, Facilities and Property

In deciding whether to allow any group or organisation to make use of its buildings, facilities and property Yew Tree Community School will take into account the views, policies and objectives of that group or organisation and may refuse on the grounds that these are incompatible with the policies and objectives of the school. In particular, access will be refused if it appears likely that the proposed activity would promote extremist ideological, political or religious beliefs.

7. Accountability

The statutory body of the school (Governing Body) has ultimate responsibility for this policy. The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of the Head Teacher.

Yew Tree Community School will use the No Platform Policy of Birmingham City Council for guidance on conducting research into the background of potential speakers, consulting other schools, other organisations, using search engines, assessing the reliability of information found, identifying risks to community cohesion etc.

8. Reporting Concerns

School staff have a responsibility to act on concerns. Staff will have training on how to recognise a potential issue with the promotion of extremism in school.

At Yew Tree Community School staff will inform Christine Lane (Assistant Head Teacher) or Shaukat Islam (Head Teacher) if they have a concern. Any staff member who has raised a concern will be given feedback on the action taken.

If after reporting a concern staff feel that no satisfactory action has been taken then they should escalate the concern by informing Nasir Awan (Chair of Governors) or Annie Laughrin (Vice-Chair of Governors) of their concerns. If a concern needs to be escalated further then Yew Tree Community School Whistle Blowing Policy is to be used.

9. Training

The school will ensure that school staff and Governors receive appropriate training in the issues raised by this policy.