What are British Values in schools and when were they introduced?

British values were first introduced in 2011 as part of the government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy. The aim of British Values in school is to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.

The government produced guidance around promoting British Values in schools in 2014. When publishing the guidance in 2014, Lord Nash said:

A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We want every school to promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.

What are British values?

British values are fundamental values the government believes underpins what it is to be a citizen in a modern and diverse Great Britain. The aim of the British Values is to value communities and celebrate the diversity of the UK.

How many British values are there?

There are 5 British values, however, some people count the respect and tolerance values as 1 value. This means the 5 British values are sometimes referred to as the 4 British values.

What are the British values?

At Dodworth St. John’s, British values are promoted through our whole curriculum and wider school life. As soon as children enter our school in the Early Years, they learn how to share and take turns, develop their manners, follow the school rules, and learn about the world around them, including places in our local community.  

Every subject in our curriculum promotes British Values, from collaboration and teamwork in P.E., learning about the world around us and making links with our local community in Geography, to developing our knowledge, understanding and acceptance of world religions in R.E.

Our children also have opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities in school, including School Council, Prefects, Collective Worship Council, Gardening and Eco Council, AntiBullying Ambassadors, and Playground Buddies, as well as opportunities to join music and performing arts groups and to take part in whole-school performances and collective worship, such as Mother’s Day Service and the Nativity.  

One of our weekly Collective Worship sessions also focuses on one of the British Values in more detail. Using First News allows us to think, discuss and reflect upon how our British Values play out and impact upon citizens in our real world.

Knowledge and understanding of British Values is built upon throughout our children’s educational journey and children apply their knowledge and understanding of the British Values through their behaviours within school, including break times, as well as beyond school during school trips.


Useful Information and Websites

Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools: Departmental advice for maintained schools, November 2014 – Advice template (publishing.service.gov.uk)