Secondary Leaders SMSC Network

22/12/2016

Since July 2015 The Linking Network has been gathering Secondary Leaders of SMSC and British values to support and inform best practice. It is held in a teach meet style with The Linking Network Advisors and different members of the network sharing examples of practice in schools to the benefit of students across the district.

The group began at the end of a full days training on strategies for Leading Outstanding SMSC and British Values as a senior leader in a secondary school. At the end of the training day there was a sense that leaders wanted to continue to meet to work out the very best steps and support one another.

In course feedback Brad Moxon, a senior leader at Bradford Academy stated “Really informative. Great balance between strategic overview and practical advice and tips. Excellent resources and delivery. A move to develop an SMSC Network would be really welcomed.

  • The first meeting of the SMSC Network was held in October 2015 and covered meaningful classroom and whole school responses to British values hosted by Belle Vue Girls School.
  • In December 2015  the group considered positive curriculum approaches to protecting students from extremism in all its forms.
  • In March 2016 the group considered curriculum resources designed and promoted as means of protecting from radicalisation. We were hosted by Bradford Grammar School. Azam
  • During May 2016 three RE teachers in the group agreed to take part in a test programme in their schools to structure Conversations about Difficult Topics and a feedback event was hosted at Beckfoot School and attended by a wide range of people concerned to see this important work done well.
  • In June 2016 heard feedback from these teachers on their successes and challenges. The Linking Network advisors shared their thoughts on a group called Solutions not Sides(SNS)  who bring speakers from Palestine and Israel into schools in the UK in a carefully structured programme. Linda Cowie had carefully observed the charity in three different settings and had formed the view that this would be an extremely helpful approach for schools across Bradford. and we took expressions of interest for sessions by SNS as well as workshops on Deconstructing Online Digital Propaganda. We were hosted by Bradford Forster Academy.
  • In November 2016 the group considered strategy for assembly and Tom Darling, Beckfoot School shared the assembly policy he had developed. We looked at new materials for deconstructing online propaganda that TLN has commissioned and TLN advisors shared updates on SMSC,British values, equalities and safeguarding.

Membership of the Secondary SMSC Network is completely free and anyone leading this area across a secondary school is welcome. We are grateful for specific funding for the SMSC Network from Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, Oxford as part of a grant to research into effective support to leaders for SMSC as well as core funding from the Pears Foundation.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 5th April. For further details please contact Meg Henry on meg.henry@schoolslinking.org.uk