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Promoting Fundamental British Values


BroadOaks
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Not sure if this has already been debated from last years plans to introduce the Promoting of Fundamental British Values into setting from September 2015. I was just wondering how people on this forum feel about this?

 

Just some further information:

 

The Home Secretary Theresa May says "The government will actively seek to actively promote British values" to clamp down on extremism -

 

The Government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

 

So as i understand it i presume here in the UK we have school's and/or nurseries that are promoting extremist views? Do we see any proof of this or is this to prevent this in the future?

 

I would really like to dig a little deeper into what other people make of this?

Edited by BroadOaks
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Hi BroadOaks

 

There was a thread about this quite recently, you'll find it if you do a forum search (or some clever person will provide a link!).

I found it very useful and it helped me understand what is meant by Fundamental British Values. Hope that helps.

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Broadoaks..................yes, there was a problem in several schools in Birmingham, I believe ( and I could be wrong about where it was, so apologies to all those from Birmingham in advance, if I am), which has led to this latest advice.

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The foundation years website have this guidance document about British values in the early years.

http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/2015/03/fundamental-british-values-in-the-early-years/

 

the events in Birmingham can be found by searching Trojan horse and the Kershaw report.

 

We have people in this country that hold extremist views. Then it's not a huge step to imagine that some of those people may have connections with schools or nurseries eg they could be parents, staff, governors, committee members etc. So yes it is possible that some people in schools or nurseries may promote extremist views. It doesn't necessarily mean that 'the school' itself promotes these views, it could be a single person, but that person could slowly over time influence others especially the more vulnerable.

 

what are your own thoughts on this, broad oaks?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys

 

I have no issues in 'promoting British values' in schools, as I can understand how that would reduce terrorism, particularly as we already have had cases of 'Jihadi brides' going to Syria from a British school. However, I have no idea how to go about this in an early years setting. I have read all the links that have been posted, but I have yet to read something that gives advice on how we can go about doing this in a practical way in each of our 3 rooms; babies, toddlers and pre-school?

 

This new legislation is about to go 'live' from 1st Sep 2015, and I still have not managed to think of anything to do other than have a few pictures of the Queen dotted around the place and a few Union Jacks. If anybody has already put more suitable practices in place, I should be most grateful if you would share your ideas with us.

 

Many Thanks

Sat

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Hi Sat

I think the link above to the Foundation Years website should support you to think about how you already promote British Values through your day to day work. I see this overall as good safeguarding practices (that are alert to eg possible extreme views and radicalisation), your PSE and your UW provision.

In order to be sure that you are covering this in your current practice, you could jot down, say in a staff meeting, on one side of a piece of paper:

Democracy

Rule of law

Individual liberty and mutual respect

Tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs.

 

These are the 4 things defined as 'fundamental British Values' (of course you may disagree with this definition but it's what we have to work with)

 

Then on the other side of the paper, how you already meet each of these and perhaps if you think you have any gaps.

 

As you get into thinking about British Values I'm sure you will start to see many of your activities as links. So for example, when you evaluate your provision, you might gather the views of staff, parents and children. This is democracy. Encouraging children to listen to each other in a group is developing mutual respect. Celebrating and learning about different faiths, or diverse families is promoting tolerance of other faiths and beliefs. Having Golden rules is the beginning of respecting the rule of law.

 

I'm not sure if that helps but hope it's a starting point for you, and there might add their ideas too.

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Excellent Mundia! Your post was extremely helpful and is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks very much. That's a great starting point and the kind of info I need to be armed with for my next Ofsted! Maybe I won't need to put up pics of Her Majesty and the Union Jack after all!

 

Any more ideas anyone can share would be most welcomed.

Edited by KIKPOP99
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Mouse - You may not be the Author, but you are the sharer of info, and without your input I would have still have been struggling to find something substantial. Credit where credit is due and thanks for sharing!

 

In fact, I'm sure there are many others who have read your post that will benefit greatly...like I have!

Edited by KIKPOP99
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Sorry for not reporting back on my thread in a while. To be honest i have been on holiday! :P and i promoted fundamental British Values whilst i was there.

 

Well there have been some good posts and it has opened my eyes about the Birmingham cases.. i will look into these further now.

 

When i see this kind of legislation being passed i am very skeptical (about everything these days actually) and i always believe there is just more to it than what we see on the surface. To sum it up i don't trust the government very much, there i said it! I'm sure they have our best interests at heart, ok i am lying actually.. i don't believe it all :(

 

At the end of the day we now have to follow these new guidelines if i like it or not.. and the pdf shared above shows we are already doing it in any case!! So nothing as really changed except they now have more powers to look into our private lives if they wanted to.. and OK this can be seen as a good thing by most people if it stops radicalization. Unfortunately the terminology they use covers a much wider scope! :o

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Thanks for the links ...really helpful. Challenging stereotypical behaviour is another line you might want to consider when looking at this.

What is stereotypical behaviour? Do you have any examples please?

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What is stereotypical behaviour? Do you have any examples please?

Many examples!!!! perhaps that's just my group!!

 

  • Sex....girls vs boys. So Boys can only use blue or girls cant be doctors etc
  • Race...i'm black you're white or vica versa. Information like this can be worrying because this has been told to them, they have learnt it through older people...children do not naturally call themselves black or white IMO
  • Culture...WE don't eat that or we don't do that!
  • Religion .... you are X and I am Y ...not an issue unless it becomes a barrier to play.
  • Age .... too old too young
  • Disability....an attitude of being against those who may be physically or mentally different to themselves

Probably quite a few more lines to go down....but not had enough coffee yet!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perhaps it is just me (and feel free to disagree), but since all of the those values are already integral to effective pedagogy and really just show good inclusiveness, I see the idea of 'promoting fundamental British values' as needless nationalism, fearmongering and infer some outright racism. Do the Polish families that attend my setting not promote democracy? I'm excited to hear how adding some nationalism to our curriculum will prevent 'extremism'. What a load of nonsense.

There, I said it.

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Perhaps it is just me (and feel free to disagree), but since all of the those values are already integral to effective pedagogy and really just show good inclusiveness, I see the idea of 'promoting fundamental British values' as needless nationalism, fearmongering and infer some outright racism. Do the Polish families that attend my setting not promote democracy? I'm excited to hear how adding some nationalism to our curriculum will prevent 'extremism'. What a load of nonsense.

There, I said it.

Not going to disagree.....as a setting that takes a wide variety of children from different cultures/beliefs and origins this makes me feel quite uncomfortable. But then we are in an area where children have been removed from pre-school to travel to Syria with their parents....however how im supposed to stop this or spot a 3 year old being radicalised i'm not quite sure!

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I didn't put the word 'British' in our policy (or 'fundamental values' without 'British').

I think the problem with changing 'titles' like this is that people looking at the policies will expect to see this terminology....this has in the past caused me problems...so for instance we changed COEL to learning patterns but have had to change back as having thought it would simplify things it just confused matters!

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Perhaps it is just me (and feel free to disagree), but since all of the those values are already integral to effective pedagogy and really just show good inclusiveness, I see the idea of 'promoting fundamental British values' as needless nationalism, fearmongering and infer some outright racism. Do the Polish families that attend my setting not promote democracy? I'm excited to hear how adding some nationalism to our curriculum will prevent 'extremism'. What a load of nonsense.

There, I said it.

I wonder if its the terminology used or the idea that is the problem? Actually I don't have a problem with 'British' per se, but I think a better than 'fundamental' could have been used perhaps. (as its too easy to sound like 'fundamentalism')

 

I would think, and certainly in my limited knowledge of a few education systems, that something referring to national identity, national values etc is there. In France, following the Charlie Hebdo attack, they have introduced stronger teaching of 'Republican' values. In the USA they talk of the 'American way'. In Poland, they talk of 'cultural ethnic and national identity' . When I lived in Zambia, they talked of 'traditional Zambian culture, history, values and identity'. Even the Welsh Foundation Phase refers to 'understanding the cultural identity unique to Wales'. Does this make every system racist? Is the respect and promotion of British Values really any different from understanding, and respecting cultural identity or traditional ****** (insert name of country) values? Does it matter that some of those values will necessarily be similar in different countries? So does the fact that British values are specifically mentioned mean they are exclusive to British people? In my mind, no they don't, there will be an intersection between different cultural values across the globe, as well as some differences. There are some cultures who dont believe in democracy or mutual respect or tolerance, and some of those people may be living and working in Britain.

 

I do wonder as well, if placing something specifically about British values into our education system where it was not there before has led to exactly this type of discussion..is that a bad thing? It perhaps has made people stop and think 'what is Britishness?' What is 'British Culture?' What makes British culture different from eg other European cultures?

 

These are some of the questions I have been musing over since I first read about this.

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Mundia - my issue is that none of those values are 'Fundamentally British'. If it suggested we promote something inherent in our culture (as your Zambian quote seems to) then that would be fine, it is of course important to remember our cultural identity and traditions. However, I can think of none (and those four are clearly not) 'fundamentally [and exclusively] British values' that are appropriate for a curriculum. It therefore appears to be just an attempt at making the country more nationalist, which leads to racism.

Leading to this discussion is perhaps not a bad thing, but there are other potential negative consequences that I deem more important. Again though, 'British Culture' isn't actually being promoted, or this would be a different discussion. Does it really matter anyway? Do we have to differentiate and segregate ourselves?

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