Safeguarding: Prevent & Fundamental British Values
In this blog you will learn about the government’s definition of ‘Fundamental British Values’ and when they were established. You will also find out the government’s requirements for educational facilities and publicly funded training providers to actively promote these values as part of the Prevent strategy.
What are Fundamental British values?
The fundamental values as set out by the government are:
2. The rule of law
3. Individual liberty
4. Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
What should these values teach students?
Some examples given by the government of what students should learn through these values 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 prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination
How does this affect schools?
Schools today must teach pupils SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) development. Since November 2014, they must also promote the values detailed above through SMSC; these will also be assessed by Ofsted through the curriculum.
When were the Fundamental British Values defined?
The government set out these values in 2011, but were released in 2015 as part of its Prevent strategy. Prevent is the first of four aspects of CONTEST – a government counter-terrorism strategy. The aim of Prevent is to challenge terrorism, radicalisation and extremism, and to protect the public.
For more information, see our blog: What is Prevent and why does it exist?
What does “actively promoting” Fundamental British values mean?
It’s now not enough for educational facilities and training providers to teach Fundamental British Values – they must actively promote them. This means challenging opinions or behaviours that are contrary to Fundamental British values.
Essentially, it also means avoiding promoting systems that undermine these values. Students should understand the difference between the law of the land and religious law and should not be taught anything that undermines the rule of the country’s civil and criminal law.
Training providers and educational facilities must now have a clear strategy for embedding these values into the teaching they offer and be able to demonstrate how this has worked.
The requirement for schools, training providers and other educational facilities to “promote” Fundamental British Values is a step further than the previous requirement simply to “teach” them, and those involved in providing teaching and training must fulfil their obligations under the latest government directives.
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