At the recent Festival of Education Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Education, stated that she believed “one area where there is room to improve is the active promotion of fundamental British values in our schools
She goes on to add: “…by that, I do not mean superficial displays or tick box exercises. We’ve all seen it: the Union Jack in the corridor, the pictures of the Queen.”
So the question remains, what does the active promotion of British values actually look like?
Ben Slade is the Chief Executive of SkillForce, a national education charity committed to helping children and young people develop self-confidence, resilience and good character.
Ben said: “British values means so much more than pictures of ‘great Brits’ from David Bowie to The Queen on classroom walls and Union Jacks flying from recently purchased flag poles!
“As the Chief Inspector so rightly goes on to say, the active promotion of British values means giving young people a real civic education.
“The recent appalling attacks in Manchester, central London and Finsbury Park – attacks on our British values, culture, freedoms and way of life, bring everything our society stands for into sharp focus. We should be celebrating these values more now than ever before.
“It is important for young people to recognise this, and help young people develop the resilience, grit, courage, service and social action that make us who we are as a nation.”
Skillforce has just completed a pilot programme involving 1,000 children and young people that is achieving just this.
The Prince William Award, backed by the charity’s royal patron, dares 6 to fourteen year old’s to be their best selves – to gain habits at an early stage of their life that will equip and prepare them for the rest of their childhood and adult lives.
Ben added: “We believe positive intervention on resilience is required from a much younger age.Through practical and reflective learning the Awards encourages children to develop character, courage and an awareness of the impact they can have on the society around them.
“Crucially, it is delivered using the knowledge, skills and expertise of some of the most positive role models in our society – former Service personnel, who exemplify the virtues of courage and determination.”
The Prince William Award has been developed in consultation with academics and education experts and has been tried and tested in 37 pilot schools, where teachers have noted significant improvements in pupils’ confidence, communication and their ability to work with others. The scheme will move beyond the pilot stage to launch across the country this September.
The programme is part-funded through the charity’s fundraising efforts and generous support from LIBOR banking fines.
In the words of Jon Murphy, Headteacher at Llanfoist Fawr Primary School “The decision to get involved in The Prince William Award has proved to be one of the most important decisions I’ve made in my leadership career. Investment in the award has been rewarded with high Impact outcomes for all learners in their; social, emotional, physical and academic development.”
To get further information click here to visit www.skillforce.org.
Or call 01623 827651 (UK)
Or join the debate at @SkillForceUK. Hashtags: #SkillForcePWA #PrinceWilliamAward #BeYourBest #Character #Resilience.