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British Values

In the national curriculum, British values are a key part of strengthening the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children. The national curriculum aims to set children up for later life, so although core subjects are important, it is also important to shape children into people who will respect others when they grow up.

How many British values are there?

There are five British values, although the final two values are sometimes counted as just one value.

They are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs


Union flag with british values


There are many ways in which we can support and promote British values. Here are some examples relating to each British value.


Pupils, parents, and staff should have the right to have their voices heard. This can be achieved through a pupil-elected school council, in which class representatives raise issues and suggest ideas for improvement. Parents and guardians should also be given the opportunity to express any concerns or queries through parent societies and parents' evenings.

The rule of law

The importance of law and rules should be referred to and reinforced to teach students to distinguish between right and wrong. The rule of law in British values teaches children to take responsibility for their own actions. Students should be taught the reasons behind rules and laws, how they govern and protect us, and the consequences of what happens when these laws are broken. Invite guest speakers to the school and allow children to get involved in workshops to reinforce this teaching.

Individual liberty

Promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs in a safe environment. Teach children to take responsibility for their behaviour. Children should be supported to understand that they have rights and personal freedoms and should be advised on how to exercise these safely. Pupils should be supported to become as independent as possible. This can be demonstrated in various ways, for example, through PSHE lessons and assemblies.

Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths or beliefs

Students should be taught how to respect those from different backgrounds. For example, giving pupils regular opportunities to learn about different cultures and beliefs will reinforce messages of respect and tolerance in British values. This will also allow them to understand that others may have religions and beliefs that differ from their own and to respect these differing viewpoints.