“Democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs”.
How can the requirement to promote these “fundamental British Values” be delivered in the context of apprenticeships? How can we prevent this from becoming just another bolt-on addition for providers and trainers to shoe-horn into their training plans?
Firstly this requirement should not be approached in isolation. Similar and related obligations can also be found in:
- the Public Sector Equality Duty to “advance quality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not”.
- statements in the Ofsted Framework and Inspection Handbook requiring managers and staff to promote equality and diversity, understanding of and respect for people of all faiths ( and no faith), fundamental British values and learners’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development” (smsc).
- comments in the Prevent guidance for FE that training should “ enable teachers and others supporting the curriculum to use opportunities in learning to educate and challenge....and exemplify British values in their management and teaching...”
Taken together these requirements suggest that providers of education and training should review their equality and diversity provision and their curriculum to ensure that it incorporates all these elements.
At the same time it is also important to make sure that the promotion of British values is consistent with the values, standards, policies and procedures of the learning organisation itself, since the ways these are implemented are frequently the ways in which an organisation demonstrates in practice its commitment to and delivery of values. Upholding British Values is about everybody accepting their responsibilities to uphold the values and standards which the learning community expects from all its members, insisting on appropriate standards of behaviour, challenging learners when their behaviour falls short of those standards, ensuring that all members of the learning community are safe, encouraging trainees to appreciate the standards expected in their vocational disciplines , to participate in representative structures, to develop employability skills and value difference.
But of course values, and more broadly smsc education, are also part of the mainstream training curriculum.
Vocational education and training is more than training in work-specific skills. In its broader sense it is about preparing trainees for their future roles as employees and employers. The curriculum should therefore also ensure learners are aware of the implications of cultural change and religious and non-religious beliefs for the services they will provide. A curriculum which prepares learners for employment in vocational disciplines needs to take account of the world in which they will be working. Trainees are not adequately prepared for work in a pluralist society, if they are not aware of the implications of culture, faith and belief for the services they will provide for customers and the teams in which they will work. There is more to employability than just achieving the vocational award. This may be more obvious in the curriculum content say in catering, hairdressing, or childcare than in other areas, but nevertheless it is essential for the development of personal skills, attitudes and behaviours for employability in all curriculum areas.
It is by recognising and ensuring the delivery of these elements of the training curriculum that training providers can best ensure that values are fully integrated into their provision.
Chief Executive, fbfe
All FE and Training providers have to comply with the Prevent duty. This includes exemplifying and promoting British values in line with Ofsted expectations and also challenging extremism whenever it appears; many staff find this challenging.
On the Prevent for FE and training website there are examples of how staff can exemplify and promote British values and how to challenge extremism. There are also model policies and procedures to support providers from all parts of the FE and training sector.
ETF have also developed the following Home Office approved training courses:
The Foundation can also provide in-house training and consultancy. Contact Prevent@etfoundation.co.uk for further information.