Hate crime has no place in our society and no child should live in fear of racism or bullying. Schools must promote our shared values, which include mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs, and they must comply with the requirements of the Equality Act. Schools must also have a behaviour policy which includes measures to prevent bullying.
Recent research commissioned by the Department for Education details common strategies that schools have found to be effective for combating bullying. The department is funding a number of projects to help schools tackle bullying, including hate-related bullying, and recently published the attached ‘Respectful Schools Communities’ toolkit, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline.
The department is also taking forward a number of commitments in the government’s attached ‘Hate Crime Action Plan’ to support the sector to tackle and prevent prejudice and hate-related issues, as well as in the attached ‘Integrated Communities Strategy’ to support integration and community cohesion.
Vandalism of any kind is unacceptable, and where a school is vandalised, the welfare of pupils and staff is paramount. We are aware of the incident at Bahr Academy. We have liaised with the local authority and stand ready to work with partners and assist the school in any way we can.