Schools in England will be required by the government to actively promote fundamental British values to their pupils, both in lessons and in extracurricular activities, according to new documents published by the Department for Education..
The DfE document (see below) says pupils should be taught “how democracy and the law work in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries”, and advises teachers to “consider the role of extracurricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values”.
According to the document: “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.”
John Nash, the schools minister, said in a statement: “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.”
Pupils should be expected to have “an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process” and “an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens”.