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Actively Promoting British Values in English Schools

Tue 09 Sep 2014

From 29 September 2014 the law is being changed for independent school and academies so that they have meet the following standard – the wording in bold has been added to the previous legal requirement.

The standard about the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at
the school is met if the proprietor—

(a) actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law,
individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths
and beliefs;

(b) ensures that principles are actively promoted which—

(i) enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;

(ii) enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and
criminal law of England;

(iii) encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative
and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living
and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more
widely;

(iv) enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public
institutions and services in England;

(v) further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by
enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and
other cultures;

(vi) encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010; and

(vii) encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the
democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made
and applied in England;

(c) precludes the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in
the school; and

(d) takes such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils—

(i) while they are in attendance at the school;

(ii) while they are taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or
organised by or on behalf of the school; or

(iii) in the promotion at the school, including through the distribution of
promotional material, of extra-curricular activities taking place at the school
or elsewhere;

they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.”.

Quite what “British Values” will mean after 18 September remains to be seen.

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