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British Values

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

British values were first introduced in 2011 as part of the government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy. In November 2014 The Department for Education published guidance for independent and state-maintained schools on promoting British values in schools. The aim of this guidance was to ensure young people left school prepared for life in modern Britain.


The guidance stated schools

‘have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’


The 2014 guidance meant all schools needed to have a clear strategy for embedding British values and be able to show how their work with pupils has been effective in doing so.


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.

British Values in Schools

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. Their aim 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 5 British values?

The five British values are

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance

Democracy British Values

The British value of democracy focuses on the British culture being built upon freedom and equality, where everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

The rule of law British Values

The British value of the rule of law focuses on the important role rules have to make a happy, safe and secure environment to live and work. This includes understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.

Individual Liberty British Values

The British value of individual liberty focused on the protection of rights. This includes a persons individual rights and the rights of others around them.

Mutual Respect British Values

The British value of mutual respect focuses on understanding that we all don't share the same beliefs and values. Children are taught to respect the values, ideas and beliefs of others whilst not imposing their own onto other. They should understand that differences should be appreciated, and not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.

Tolerance British Values

The British value of tolerance is sometimes paired up with the value of mutual respect. The focus of this value is to teach children to show empathy and understanding of the values, ideas and beliefs of others. It includes understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.

KS1 British Values Activities

British values can be embedded into all your KS1 lessons by creating an environment where children feel listened to and respected. Modelling fair behaviour management in the classroom is key, this includes focusing on equity over equality. Show children it is ok for them to have different needs and for those needs to be met.

Comparing Equality and Equity

KS2 British Values Activities

Build on the children’s understanding of British values in KS2 by giving them a more active role in upholding them. Encourage KS2 children to use democratic methods to get the whole school involved in decision making. Challenge them to share the information they know with the rest of the school via assemblies and posters. Provide them with opportunities to learn about historical figures who stod up for their rights and the rights of others.

FREE British Values Poster

COLLECTION of Worldviews, beliefs and values schemes of work

COLLECTION of ESR schemes of work