Casey review: “Attaching more weight to British values, laws and history in our schools”

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a report by Dame Louise Casey DBE CB, following a review she conducted into integration and opportunity in the most isolated and deprived communities in England. While the review was not focused entirely on schools, there were some observations made and recommendations put forward in order to help promote opportunity and integration in schools.

Some of the observations highlight concerns which have already been raised such as the lifting of the 50% cap on faith-based admissions criteria in new free schools and the wellbeing of children who are being educated in segregated, supplementary and unregistered illegal faith schools. The report makes several recommendations for government, which include:

  • "The promotion of British laws, history and values within the core curriculum in all schools would help build integration, tolerance, citizenship and resilience in our children. More weight should be attached to a British Values focus and syllabus in developing teaching skills and assessing schools performance”.
  • “The government has included a social need criterion in the allocation of free schools funding and should now move to work with schools providers and local communities to encourage a range of school provision and projects to ensure that children from different communities learn alongside those from different backgrounds, perhaps purchasing sites in the areas of highest segregation in advance and encouraging Multi-Academy Trusts to have a diverse range of provision”.
  • “The government should step up the safeguarding arrangements for children who are removed from mainstream education, and in particular those who do not commence mainstream schooling at all. All children outside mainstream education should be required to register with local authorities and local authorities’ duties to know where children are being educated should be increased. It should also consider the standards against which home education is judged to be clear that divisive practices are not acceptable in any setting. While every parent has the right to choose what is best for their child, local authorities must be satisfied that children are not put at risk. Ofsted and the Charity Commission should be resourced to support additional central and local government action to ensure the safeguarding of all children in mainstream and supplementary educational environments".

Finally, the report makes recommendations about those holding public office. It outlined that:

  • "We expect the highest standards in all civic leaders in selflessness and integrity, so too we should expect all in public office to uphold the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. The Government should work with the Committee for Standards in Public life to ensure these values are enshrined in the principles of public life, including a new oath for holders of public office".

The full report is a very long document (199 pages) but there is a very useful executive summary, both can be read in full, here.

Published: 09/12/2016, by Tom Fellows
Last Updated: 09/12/2016, by Tom Fellows

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