Promoting British Values
The Department for Education has published guidance (November 2014) on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
The guidance aims to help schools understand their responsibilities in this area. All schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Examples of the understanding and knowledge pupils are expected to learn include:
* an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
* an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
* an acceptance that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of discriminatory behaviour
* an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination
Examples of actions schools can take to promote British values are to:
* include in suitable parts of the curriculum – as appropriate for the age of pupils – material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries
* ensure all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils.
* use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view
* consider the role of extra-curricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values
- At St. Joseph’s we have a school council which meets regularly and time is allocated weekly for members to report back to their class on relevant matters and for pupils to raise any issues of their own
- In May 2015, on General Election day, we held mock elections and pupils voted in a booth in the school hall
- Also, in September 2015, several classes celebrated the Queen becoming the longest serving British monarch.
As opportunities arise, we aim to further develop pupil understanding and awareness of British values in a variety of ways.