Promoting British values: a job for schools or parents?

Writing in the Guardian, Hugh Muir asks if the requirement for schools to teach British values is another case of teachers having to step in to a role that parents should fulfil…

…There are so many ways that a school, even a good one, can trip up during the pressure-cooker experience of an Ofsted inspection – I know, I have seen it as a governor. And now there is a new one. Schools had better make it plain that they are doing everything they can, on top of all the academic requirements, to actively “promote British values”

Ofsted has already been busy in this area. Schools – Muslim, Christian, Jewish – have all been marked down for failing to prepare pupils for life in modern diverse Britain. I wouldn’t criticise that. Any school that equips its students to be comfortable and knowledgable about difference is doing them a favour, and that applies to rural counties as well as the inner cities.

But it is another pastoral duty for our schools to perform. And they might reasonably ask: what about the parents – why aren’t they teaching their children this stuff? Truth is, parents are often the problem. Schools picking up the slack again…

More at: Promoting British values: a job for schools or parents?


Surely the issue here is the fear from the authorities that parents aren’t already doing this so schools are being brought in to fill the gap? What do you think? Is it reasonable that schools are used to ‘pick up the slack’ in this and other areas where parents might not be doing all we would expect of them or is it an unacceptable requirement? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Parenting and Policy.


  1. MsTPole

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I wish we talked about universal human values instead. I can assure that Polish parents want their children >

  2. andylutwyche

    MsTPole SchoolsImprove I totally agree. This really is just political guff jumping on the coat-tails of a fear over immigration

  3. andylutwyche

    MsTPole SchoolsImprove I do wonder whether we’d be getting these policies if a general election wasn’t around the corner

  4. MsTPole

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove exactly. Luckily, most people don’t pay much attention and carries on with their lives.

  5. MsTPole

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove however it hardly makes people welcome here and wanting to get involved into their local communities.

  6. andylutwyche

    MsTPole SchoolsImprove Quite, but bizarrely these people in Westminster have power beyond their intellect and knowledge in their hands

  7. MsTPole

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove haha. I somehow suspect all this talk about ‘British values’ will quietly die off after elections.

  8. Kathfanderson

    SchoolsImprove School staff should be expressing & modelling civilised (not specifically “British”) values every day. Is that “promotion”?

  9. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove Prejudice just against private schools shows some adults don’t know enough about acceptance/tolerance of others to teach it!

  10. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove Prejudice just against private schools shows some adults don’t know enough about acceptance/tolerance of others to teach it!

  11. echeadmaster

    SchoolsImprove Schools and parents should SHARE values – a solid base so children can benefit from the same messages at home and at school.

  12. atheistsVeuthan

    FionaTipper SchoolsImprove How about acceptance and tolerance of themselves? Do you not think privately educated can be self-critical?

  13. FionaTipper

    atheistsVeuthan SchoolsImprove yes. point is some people here who preach about british values seem happy to condemn big chunks of society

Let us know what you think...