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What does Ofsted say about VotesforSchools?

A different approach

Children in school uniform wearing sparkly hats.

Despite Ofsted putting SMSC at "the heart of school development" and asking schools to promote British Values and Prevent, evidencing both SMSC, British Values & Prevent Guidance in school can be difficult.

A multitude of methods have been trialled to support schools, such as filling in difficult spreadsheets, writing evidence after each lesson taught or many other techniques all leading to increased teacher workload and a wealth of paperwork.

VotesforSchools takes a different approach. We believe the best way to evidence SMSC, British Values & Prevent in school is through the pupils and students that are learning these skills.

By taking part in regular VotesforSchools sessions, pupils learn and embody these skills in all areas of their education, which is easily seen by any visitor to your school.

"Leaders ensure that pupils develop an understanding of democracy, respect and other modern British values. Pupils regularly vote on different themes to express an opinion. For example, during the recent presidential election in the United States pupils considered the quandary of ‘Should celebrities become politicians?’ Such debate enables pupils to express their views respectfully and have their voices heard."

The Ashwood Academy Ofsted Report

"Pupils make a positive contribution to the life of the school, including as councillors and as art and anti-bullying ambassadors. They keep abreast of current affairs through the weekly ‘votes for schools’ programme. Teachers encourage pupils to form opinions and debate issues such as equality and discrimination. This also includes discussions about democracy and tolerance."

Five Elms Primary School Ofsted Report 2022

secondary school pupils using whiteboards at their tables

As well as full SMSC, British Values & Prevent coverage, VotesforSchools is passionate about pupil voice. We want to equip all young people with the oracy skills to discuss, debate and disagree respectfully. Throughout all of our lessons, we instill three key values ensuring they are ready for life beyond the school gates:

  • Be informed
  • Be curious
  • Be heard

"Pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of democracy. This is achieved through elections for class council members but also through the ‘votes for schools’ programme. Pupils in all year groups consider big questions; for example, during the inspection Year 3 discussed ‘Should schools have pets?’ This means that pupils learn how to articulate their own opinion but also understand the importance of listening to what someone else has to say. Pupils are well prepared for their lives in modern Britain."

Packmoor Primary School Ofsted Report, 2019

Image of school pupil with the words: knife crime, bullying, sexism, violence and homophobic language on top

With every VotesforSchools resource created by a team of teachers, you can be assured that they are age-appropriate, school-appropriate, detailed and accurate, and ready for use in the classroom.

They not only help school leaders, but also give teachers the confidence to discuss controversial issues within a class setting.

"You do not shy away from topical issues in your ‘pupil vote’ activities and show courage in enabling pupils to talk about challenging topics, such as acts of terrorism or the ethics of conflict."


St Chad's RCVA, June 2018

"We recently had an Ofsted inspection and I informed Michele how the Ofsted inspector watched me teach a whole lesson on VotesforSchools in our form time and the inspector was really impressed with how the results of the whole country could be viewed. The Ofsted inspector really liked the PowerPoints. The PowerPoints are always engaging with the students and... covers SMSC 100% and also about 75% of the topics of PHSE which includes RSE in such sensitive and interesting ways. The votes enable democracy in action every week thus actively promoting British values."

Head of Science, Al Sadiq School & Al Zahra School, 2022

Want to find out more?

To find out exactly how VotesforSchools ensures full coverage of the SMSC curriculum, as well as covering all British Values and Prevent guidance, book a short, online demo to see the programme in action, or request one of our team gets in touch with you.

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