British Values

Promotion of British Values at Springmead


For many years, there has been a duty for schools to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. More recently, the Department for Education has reinforced the requirement for schools to promote ‘fundamental British values’ through SMSC development:


‘It is expected that pupils should understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. The school’s ethos and teaching, which schools should make parents aware of, should support the rule of English civil and criminal law and schools should not teach anything that undermines it. If schools teach about religious law, particular care should be taken to explore the relationship between state and religious law. Pupils should be made aware of the difference between the law of the land and religious law.’


Fundamental British values are defined as follows:


•    Democracy
•    Rule of law
•    Individual liberty
•    Mutual respect 
•    Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs


The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values. 


‘Through their provision of SMSC, schools should: 


•    enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence; 
•    enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England; 
•    encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely; 
•    enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England; 
•    further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; 
•    encourage respect for other people; and encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England. 
•    an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process; 
•    an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety; 
•    an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence; 
•    an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law; 
•    an acceptance that other 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; and an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination. 

At Springmead, these values have always been promoted as the means of creating a positive ethos and inclusive school community, where every child can flourish and succeed. This is achieved through:


•    Regular assemblies to challenge thinking
•    A wide and varied curriculum, where children learn about, as age-appropriate,  advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries;
•    A well-planned personal, social and citizenship curriculum
•    A strong culture of tolerance, respect and inclusivity using opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view;
•    Ensuring 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 school council whose members are voted for by the pupils;
•    Using teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils understand a range of faiths,