War on Terror and British Values
The Prevent strategy stated that fundamental British values (FBVs) are ‘democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. In 2012, the Teachers’ Standards included these values and required all teachers ‘not to undermine FBVs'. In November 2014, the Coalition government produced guidelines on promoting ‘FBVs’. In September 2015, the newly elected Conservative government transformed this guidance to a full duty, as defined in Section 26 of the new Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
Since the introduction of FBVs in the educational sphere school managements, educators, teacher trainers and academics have been interpreting this policy and the related values. These interpretations have been varied; some highlighted its importance, some criticised its muddled meaning and some raised the question: if teachers do not promote these values what should they be replaced with?
This presentation will challenge these interpretations from an anti-racist and anti-imperialist stand point and offer an alternative perspective on the notion of FBVs. I will consider the ontology of the notion of FBVs and analyse why it is defined as such, what makes the notion of FBVs problematic and why educators should collectively reject its promotion.
This session was presented at the ‘PGCE Conference 2023: Inclusion and Inspiration - Education for Social Justice’.