What Are British Values and How Do They Affect Assessors?
You may have heard the term British Values. Or you might have never heard of it. It can be confusing to people and you may not be sure how this applies to assessors and assessing.
What are British Values?
British Values are all about underpinning what it is to be a citizen in Britain, and any educational organisation should incorporate them into their culture to improve their social and moral responsibility. They allow the creation of a discrimination-free environment, where there is no room for intolerance and hate. Helping to overcome stereotyping and improving relationships.
There are 4 sections that make up British Values as a whole. These are;
In our blog we’re going to be going into detail about these sections and how they relate to you as an assessor. Let’s kick this off with Democracy!
Democracy is defined by the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on a belief in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people. This seems like a lot of information but what does it mean? This is the right to have a voice and be heard and everyone should be free to speak and be treated equally, regardless of your background, beliefs or faith.
There are different meanings to the word democracy, it’s derived from two Greek words which are ‘Demos’ meaning people and ‘Kratia’ which means rule of or by, however, it can also mean Abraham Lincoln’s view of ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people.’
There are many different examples of democracy for example the government and organisations. Some of these include:
- The United Kingdom Parliament
- The National Assembly for Wales
- The Scottish Parliament
- The Northern Ireland Assembly
- District and Borough Councils
- County Councils
- Parish Councils
- The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner
How does this impact you as an assessor? You need to know that everyone should be treated equally, your learners should be able to speak up for themselves, however, you should as well. That you have the right to be heard as much as your learners.
What can you do as an individual to participate in the democratic process? This could be a variety of things, such as voting in elections, signing petitions, joining trade unions, and valuing the views of others.
The Rule Of Law
Rule of law is defined as a fundamental concept that every individual must obey the law. In essence, no one is above the law. This relates to British Values as the need for rules to create a safe and secure environment to live and work within. The knowledge to know right from wrong and that actions have consequences. The rule of law is meant to prevent dictatorship and to protect the rights of people.
There are many reasons why there is a need for rules and for laws in the United Kingdom. There needs to be public order so people don’t start to think that they are above it, it gives people standards to go by and how they should act in society. It can also include, protecting each individual’s freedoms, as well as providing solutions for legal problems.
When it comes to assessing you have to follow certain rules, standards and procedures and be fair when doing it. You also have to create a safe environment for your learners.
Some examples of laws include:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- The Equality Act 2010
- The Broadcasting Act 1990
- The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
- The Human Rights Act 1998
Criminal Law and Civil Law
The purpose of Criminal Law is:
- To prevent undesirable behaviour and punish those who commit an act deemed undesirable by society.
- The types of court that will hear cases
- How cases are conducted
- The types of sentencing powers available to the courts
- The standard of proof required to determine if a person is guilty or not.
- Types of cases which are heard in court. (e.g. murder, manslaughter, rape, assault, burglary, careless driving)
The purpose of Civil Laws is:
- It allows for resolution of disagreements, disputes and breaches of contract, including family and business problems as well as damages and debts
- Types of courts which hear cases (County court and High court)
- How cases are conducted e.g. Judge and the standard proof required (on the balance of probabilities)
- Types of cases that are usually heard in these courts (e.g. breach of contracts, outstanding debts, family cases)
Individual liberty is described as the right to act, believe and express oneself freely. It is the exercise of rights seen outside of the government’s control. Protecting your rights and the rights of others. This is shown every day, through the means of:
- equality and human rights,
- respect and dignity,
- rights, choices, consent and individuality
- values and principles.
Students as well as assessors should be aware of their rights and personal freedoms and should be able to exercise these freely. Assessors should create a safe space for learners to express their opinions freely without judgment or bias, whether you agree with them or not.
There are different types of individual liberty that we experience in the United Kingdom, these are:
- The freedom of speech
- The right to life
- The right to a fair trial
- Freedom of thought, religion and belief
- The right to marry and start a family
- Freedom from slavery and torture
You can also explore more protections that are offered by the Human Rights Act 1998.
Respect and Tolerance
Mutual respect means treating others how you would like to be treated yourself.
Tolerance means the toleration of different opinions which may differ from your own.
- Embracing Diversity,
- Promoting awareness of Religion, traditions, cultural heritage and preferences,
- Tackling stereotyping, labelling, prejudice and discrimination.
There are a few key qualities that are needed when practising mutual respect and tolerance.
- Respecting others opinions
- Working together inclusively
- Expressing own views
- Openness to different cultures, religions and traditions around the world.
- Being alert to views that are unlawful and/or unacceptable in an inclusive society
- Reporting any suspicious concerns to others e.g. teachers, the police etc.
So what are negative behaviours that impact mutual respect and tolerance? These could be the active promotion of intolerance to different faiths, cultures and races, and Extremism, terrorism and radicalisation. It could also be the failure of society to challenge any stereotypes, e.g. gender, sexual orientation, religion and ethnic origin, as well as the segregation of girls and boys finally isolating children from their community.
How do I apply British Values as an Assessor?
As an assessor, you probably receive lots of emails or questions from learners, and it is important that you have the right tools to reply to these queries in a professional manner. You may have learners who don’t like those who can’t speak English or have different values and beliefs from them. What will you do if they send you a complaint, asking to remove the other learner from the class? This shouldn’t be done, as it goes against the British Values.
When dealing with such situations, you may wish to think about the importance of working in mixed-ability groups, diversity and how this gives learners a better experience all round. With that, you may also wish to highlight the importance of appropriate behaviour and remind the learner that they should treat someone how they want to be treated. To respect and be tolerant of others.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.