What are British Values?

Fundamental British values are defined by the DfE as:

  • Democracy: Respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
  • The rule of law: Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
  • Individual liberty: Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Mutual respect and tolerance: Support for equality of opportunity for all and respect and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs

​Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. Attempts to promote systems that undermine fundamental British values would be completely at odds with schools’ duty to provide SMSC. The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.

We are working a Unicef Rights Respecting School (Gold Award).
Please click here to visit the Unicef website for further information. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child set out a series of ‘Articles’ that list the child’s rights which we respect and are aligned with our fundamental British values.

Some pertinent Articles for our pupils include:

  • article 1 (definition of the child) – everyone under 18 has all of the rights in the convention
  • article 2 (non-discrimination) – every child has all of the rights without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, beliefs or family background
  • article 12 (respect for the views of the child) – every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them
  • article 13 (freedom of expression) – every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions
  • article 24 (health and health services) – every child has the right to the best possible health
  • article 29 (goals of education) – education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full
  • article 31 (leisure, play and culture) – every child has the right to relax, play and take part in cultural and artistic activities

​Collective worship, establishing a strong school ethos supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and providing relevant activities beyond the classroom are all ways of ensuring pupils’ SMSC development. Pupils must be encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance.

At Castle Hill School through the delivery of our curriculum and planning for SMSC development, we:

  • Include in suitable parts of the curriculum, as appropriate for the age and understanding of our pupils, material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain.
  • Ensure that 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.
  • Demonstrate the importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. We use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils understand a range of faiths.
  • Treat everyone with respect, typified by our school rule that ‘we are calm and kind’. This is modelled to pupils throughout the day by staff who will continually teach pupils the importance of showing respect. Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core values such as respect, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. This is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.

Please click on the thumbnail for further advice from the Department for Education.