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:
- 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:
- How we can influence decision-making by taking part in democratic processes like voting and petitioning
- That the law is there to keep us safe
- Our freedom under British law to choose different faiths and beliefs
- The importance of combatting discrimination
What does this look like in school?
The values are reflected throughout our school, including in our policies, assemblies and ethos, including Rights Respecting ethos. Children also engage with the values through the curriculum in ways that are suitable for their age and context, for example, learning the value of rules through creating their own class charters and opportunities to learn about traditions from different cultures and religions. Through pupil votes, questionnaires and councils, children can have their voices heard and learn about democracy. 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. Our duty to actively promote fundamental British values means that we always present political views to children in a balanced way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my child still be able to express his/her faith at school?
Absolutely. One of the fundamental British 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 encourage pupils to identify links between the British values and the topics they are studying.
Does it affect 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 charters and respect each other’s rights. Promoting fundamental British values will reinforce, not change, our current ethos.