Teaching Controversial Issues “But my Mum says….” Depersonalisation – eg. through citing of conventions, law and legal frameworks
Teaching Controversial Issues Single Equalities Act 2010 - equal treatment irrespective of protected characteristics – age, sex, race, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity
Teaching Controversial Issues ‘The content of the curriculum has never been caught by discrimination law and this Act now states explicitly that it is excluded. However the way in which a school provides education – the delivery of the curriculum – is explicitly included. Excluding the content of the curriculum ensures that schools are free to teach the full range of issues, ideas and materials in their syllabus, and to expose pupils to thoughts and ideas of all kinds, however challenging or controversial, without fear of legal challenge based on a protected characteristic. But schools will need to ensure that the way in which issues are taught does not subject individual pupils to discrimination.’ (DFE – Advice for Schools Leaders – ref 2010 Equalities Act)
Teaching Controversial Issues DFE Teachers’ Standards “Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school, by: treating pupils with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to a teacher’s professional position….
Teaching Controversial Issues showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways which exploit pupils’ vulnerability or might lead them to break the law.
Teaching Controversial Issues ‘Fundamental British values’ is taken from the definition of extremism as articulated in the new Prevent Strategy, which was launched in June 2011. It includes ‘democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. (‘DFE Teachers’ Standards from Sept 2012’) Sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996. The act forbids “the promotion of partisan political views” and confers on schools a duty to “secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils… they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.”
Teaching Controversial Issues Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers and Students – The right to- Be heard Be respected (no bullying or victimisation)
Teaching Controversial Issues The responsibility to – Listen Show respect
Teaching Controversial Issues Classroom practice: Agreed Ground rules based on RnR’s Teacher Role - Neutral chair /Debate – structured or structured.