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British Values (for Parents)

What are ‘fundamental British values’?

Schools are required to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. As part of this requirement, we are expected to actively promote fundamental British values.

The government defines these as:

  • Democracy

  • The rule of law

  • Individual liberty

  • Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

 

What does this mean for my child?

Our efforts to promote fundamental British values are designed to prepare children for life in modern Britain.

Ultimately, we aim to help pupils understand:

  • The importance of combatting discrimination

  • How we can influence decision-making by taking part in democratic processes like voting and petitioning

  • Our freedom under British law to choose different faiths and beliefs

  • That the law is there to keep us safe

 

What does this look like in school?

The values are reflected throughout our school, including in our ethos, policies and assemblies.

Children also engage with the values through the curriculum, in ways that are suitable for their age and context. For example, in some subjects there are opportunities to think about traditions from different cultures and religions.

Extra-curricular activities such as games teach children about the importance of rules. Pupil votes, questionnaires and councils are other ways that children can have their voices heard and learn about democracy.

Our duty to actively promote fundamental British values means that we always present political views to children in a balanced way. We are also responsible for challenging prejudiced or extreme opinions and behaviour.

As part of this responsibility, we have put measures in place to protect children from exposure to extremist views. Please feel free to contact the school if you would like more information about this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child still be able to express his/her faith at school?

Absolutely. One of the fundamental values is respect and tolerance of people with different faiths, and we teach our children that British law protects their freedom to hold their own beliefs.

Any prejudice or discrimination towards pupils on the basis of their faith goes against the fundamental British values and will not be tolerated by the school.

How will this affect my child’s lessons?

The curriculum provides lots of opportunities to look at fundamental British values. Your child will already have some experience of this in lessons such as religious education (RE) and personal, social and health education (PSHE).

In each subject, our teachers will look out for these opportunities and encourage children to think about how the values link into the topics they are studying.

Will there be major changes to the school’s ethos?

Our school’s ethos already includes many aspects of the government’s fundamental British values. For example, we expect our children to follow the school rules and show kindness to one another.

Promoting fundamental British values will reinforce, not change, our current ethos.

 

Where to go for more information

Contact the school

If you have any questions or concerns about British values and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school.

 

Government information

The following guidance and news article from the Department of Education (DfE) may be useful for further information:

 

Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools, DfE

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380595/SMSC_Guidance_Maintained_Schools.pdf

 

Guidance on promoting British values in schools published

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/guidance-on-promoting-british-values-in-schools-published