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Chidren punch the air when they know it's a VotesforSchools assembly. Head, St Chad's Primary School
VotesforSchools offers pupils an opportunity to debate significant issues in a democratic and safe environment and does an excellent job of presenting multiple perspectives on hot topics to students in a balanced way. Education Resources Awards judges, 2021
I found the resources on the Sarah Everard assembly really useful and had a go at it today… Very difficult topic to tackle. Deputy Head, Royal Alexandra and Albert School
VotesforSchools is a brilliant programme, which is engaging young people across Barking & Dagenham in politics and building a strong community where schools communicate with one another and tackle difficult issues. Ben Spinks, CEO of Barking & Dagenham Schools Improvement Partnership
Have a look at what we've already got planned for 2021/2022!
The questions we get the most about using VotesforSchools in your school or College.
There are three ways in which we choose our topics:
1. Based on current affairs, as was the case for our Black Lives Matter resources, as well as many of our Coronavirus VoteTopics.
2. Based on the diverse society in which we live and the events or Awareness Days that celebrate different communities. You can find our list of pre-planned topics for 2021/22 by downloading our calendar here.
3. Based on suggestions from voters and teachers on what they would like to see us cover. These are some of our favourite topics to cover as we know we are reflecting issues they find most important back to them!
We always provide voters with further information of who they can talk to or raise any concerns with for any particularly challenging topics, and we always recommend the government Safeguarding best practice policy is followed.
At the beginning of each week the team sits down with the proposed VoteTopic question and maps out the most compelling arguments for and against. These form the foundation upon which each lesson is built, with all the activities offering scope to explore both the “Yes” and “No” sides.
When covering specialised topics, we consult experts wherever possible to ensure the information we are providing is from a trusted source and is giving our voters accurate advice and guidance.
Each lesson is carefully checked prior to publication to ensure that it not only takes an objective view of the topic but also offers arguments from a range of sources to reflect press coverage. Where possible we also like to give young people the opportunity to explore any “fake news” surrounding the topic, and all our lessons encourage critical thinking and seek to improve digital literacy.
VotesforSchools can be delivered during tutor time, assemblies, or as part of PSHE or Citizenship curriculums. We have also known of subscribers that have had great success in implementing a dedicated VotesforSchools slot in their timetable. There is implementation support from us if needed and lots of sharing of ideas amongst teachers.
Please see below for guidelines which show how we support British Values, SMSC, Prevent and the draft Ofsted framework (2019) across Primary & Secondary schools and Colleges in England and Wales. Click the links to download the relevant material for your school.
Primary: VotesforSchools Primary Curriculum & Ofsted overview
Secondary: VotesforSchools Secondary Curriculum & Ofsted overview
Colleges: VotesforColleges Curriculum & Ofsted overview
We also provide termly summaries of how we have met SMSC, British Values, Prevent, UNCRC and SDGs through each weekly topic. These are sent out as part of our Christmas, Easter & Summer newsletters.
For our Scottish schools the documents below outline what you can expect from your weekly Curriculum Guides:
Primary: VotesforSchools Primary & Scottish Curriculum
Secondary: VotesforSchools Secondary & Scottish Curriculum
Colleges: VotesforColleges & Scottish Curriculum
We also provide termly summaries of the SHANARRI, UNCRC and SDGs criteria that our VoteTopics have met as well as an overview of the different themes covered.
There is a simple log in process and we provide clear, easy-to-follow guidance. Our helpline is available during school hours with friendly advice and help if you have any problems: email@example.com
We understand that all schools have different approaches and access to technology. We have built maximum flexibility into the platform meaning that users can vote on laptops, tablets, smartphones or in the school computer suite. We provide a ballot box if a school prefers to vote manually rather than online.
Schools can access the anonymised data specific to their school and also see the data relating to other schools across the UK. The VoteData will be sent to the lead teacher in your school. A full report on the weekly results as well as user-friendly infographics are also uploaded to our website and social media platforms each week.
VotesforSchools takes the issue of data protection and data privacy extremely seriously and adheres to the highest possible standards. Privacy of data is one of the core principles of our company and we will never sell or commercialise data. Voters have an individualised user login so that all data remains anonymous. Data on your school will be private and unique to you and will under no circumstances be shared with anyone else.
We know that you will want to give VotesforSchools a try with your school community before you join us. Head to the “Free Downloads” page on our website here to get hold of some outstanding free lessons for you to use and trial in your school.
The VotesforSchools platform runs for a whole year, regardless of sign-up date with VotePacks for every week of the academic year.
If you would like access to any past topics, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can sign up by going to the “Sign Up” page here; email us on email@example.com, or call us on 07754 862979.
VotesforSchools takes data and privacy very seriously. We are fully compliant with the GDPR measures and ensure that any personal data is fully protected.
The personal data we collect on staff is exclusively used for the running of the VotesforSchools programme. We only collect staff emails; we collect zero identifiable personal data on voters, and we use staff emails to send new resources and allow schools to vote.
No data is shared with third parties unless we are required to do so by law and we will never pass your data to a third party without asking for permission.
If you have any further questions about data use please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of our compliance statement.
Head of Welfare
St Chad's Catholic Primary School
Head of SMSC
Thomas’s Clapham Secondary School
Parkgate Primary School
Coton C of E Primary School
ARP Phase Leader and Teacher of the Deaf
Five Elms Primary School
Year 11 Teacher
Upper School Class Teacher
Small Haven School
Head of Learner Support Services
Guernsey College of Further Education