Promoting British Values and the Prevent Duty
The Government’s Prevent duty and the term “Fundamental British Values” have been around since 2011 but, following the ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations in Birmingham schools in March 2014, these terms came to the public’s consciousness. In June 2014 Michael Gove announced that all schools and colleges would be required to actively promote ‘Fundamental British Values’ and this would be enforced via the Ofsted inspection framework.
Fundamental British Values does not mean that only British people have these values. But they do highlight the caring and tolerant behaviours people need to have to promote world peace!
Following last week’s events in Paris, you would be excused for thinking these duties are to counter the type of religious radicalisation and terrorism displayed in these attacks, but they have a much broader remit. In the communities we serve possible extremism may have many faces and many names but could be, although not limited to:-
- White supremacists
- Nazi parties
- Holocaust denial
- Race hatred
- Religious hatred
- Far-right extremism
- Religious extremism
- Nationalist extremism
- Animal rights activists
Under the Prevent duties it is expected that our learners 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. Our ethos and teaching should support the rule of English civil and criminal law and we should not teach anything that undermines it.
So, what can we do? How can the staff and trainers at ITEC respond to this responsibility?
We are endeavouring to broaden our learners’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural skills and knowledge and prepare them, not just for the world of work, but for a future as a responsible member of society. This includes:-
- Enabling our learners to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
- Encouraging them to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to their own lives and the lives of the people in the community around them
- Enabling them to acquire a broad knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
- Promoting tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling learners to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
- Encouraging respect for other people
- Encouraging 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
- Understanding how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- Appreciating that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for well-being and safety
- 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 army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence
- Understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected by law
- Accepting and tolerating that other people have different faiths and beliefs to themselves and this should not be the cause of prejudice or discrimination
- Understanding the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background
With our guidance, ITEC learners will assess themselves using red ticks against a checklist of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), which includes British Values, at the start of their programmes. Development actions will be set at each review to increase their skills and knowledge as the programme progresses. The assessment will be carried out again in the middle of their programmes with blue ticks and again at the end in green ticks. The resulting ‘city scape’ chart will show them how their skills and knowledge have developed over the course and provide evidence of this development for them to take away with them.