Promoting British Values at Sacred Heart
The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 for the new social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) standard came into force on 29 September 2014.
The regulations state that to meet the standard for the SMSC development of pupils, the proprietor of the independent school, academy or free school must:

  • Actively promote the fundamental British values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
  • Prevent the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school
  • Take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.

The balanced presentation of opposing views applies while pupils are in attendance at school, while they are taking part in extra-curricular activities provided by, or on behalf of, the school, and in the promotion of those extra-curricular activities, whether they are taking place at the school or elsewhere.

Schools must also ensure they actively promote principles that:

  • Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated, and to society more widely
  • Enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
  • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own cultures
  • Encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010
  • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England
  • The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year.


  • Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council and Pupil questionnaires. The elections of Council and Chaplains, as well as the winner of the class and lunchtime awards each term are based solely on pupil voice.

The Rule of Law

  • The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty

  • Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safety, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education.

Mutual Respect:

  • Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around Gospel Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Our statement to live by are displayed around the school to promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

  • This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.

British Values at Sacred Heart Catholic Voluntary Academy:

  • Democracy is promoted through a School Council, pupil questionnaires and a rewards system based on pupil votes
  • The School Council is elected through a presentation manifesto and hustings.
  • The Chaplaincy team write a letter of application to their teacher for the role
  • Visits from authorities such as the police, fire services or lifeguards reinforce the importance of the rule of law
  • The school has been fortunate to visit the Houses of Parliament through a link with a local MP
  • A Foundation Governor who works in the House of Lords delivered a speech on the Parliamentary process.
  • The school ethos and behaviour policy revolve around ‘respect’ as a core value, and discussions and assemblies focus on what respect means and how it is shown

Sacred Heart Spiritual, Moral Social & Cultural Development

Download our policy document here