Embedding British Values – the importance of context

    Published: 05 December 2014

    Herts for Learning welcomed delegates from across the UK at its first national conference on 3rd December 2014, Embedding British Values: preparing young people for life in modern Britain.

    Sir Trevor McDonald

    The inspiring and informative day was opened by Sir Trevor McDonald, newsreader and journalist. Sir Trevor used his vast experience in global current affairs to contextualise the concept of British Values and advised the audience on how these could be embedded within educational settings.

    Peter Martin, Regional Further and Higher Education Coordinator at Prevent, followed Sir Trevor with an overview of the Prevent strategy. Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Peter’s role includes developing links with the Channel process and accountable safeguarding boards.

    Several workshops were on offer. These included sessions by:

    • School Improvement Professional and trained Ofsted inspector Andy Clark, who focussed on the important aspects of British Values that schools need to consider as they plan for inspection or self-review;
    • Headteacher Emma Flawn, who explained how Camps Hill Primary School has woven the key British Values into their Golden Threads curriculum;
    • Herts for Learning’s Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for Anti-Bullying Karin Hutchinson, who asked delegates to question the implications of the word ‘tolerance’, a concept loaded with tensions that fly in the face of what we are trying to achieve under equalities legislation;
    • Humanities Consultant Christine Lloyd Staples, who explored how to build pupils’ sense of identity of what it means to be British though history and geography;

    Saira Khan, star of the first series of The Apprentice, closed the day with an enlightening account of her life as a British Asian Muslim woman. She described the ways in which growing up in Britain and holding British Values have helped her to recognise and realise her potential.

    Saira KhanKnowledge is crucial, she argued, to a successful multicultural community which “does not demand assimilation, but does however require integration”. She urged teachers to learn about their children and their backgrounds, involve all parents and tap into the interests of all communities represented within the school.

    Saira recorded personal messages for teachers to take back to their schools on tablets and phones, encouraging children to explore British Values and aspire high.

    HfL’s next national conference is:

    The Power in Poetry - Language as Play

    Tuesday 3rd February

    Theobalds Park Hotel, Waltham Cross

    To book your place please visit:

    Course code: 14CON/011A