IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Community, citizenship and cohesion: schools and the promotion of fundamental British values

29 November 2018, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Adult queue

What are 'fundamental British values'? A love of tea drinking? Queuing? Supporting the Queen or the NHS?

Event Information

Open to





Joanna Gzik


Room 728
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

The government defines 'fundamental British values' (FBV) as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths.

Since 2014, teachers in English schools must promote these British values and their promotion is inspected by national inspectors, Ofsted. However, there has been little empirical research to date on how teachers have reacted to this requirement.

What plans have been put in place in schools, what lessons are taught? And how do teachers feel about suddenly being in the forefront of disseminating a set of national values? More broadly, what issues does the FBV policy raise about citizenship and who belongs and who does not in the liberal polity?

The speakers draw on recent research to answer these questions. In particular, they:

  • Explore the context for the enactment of the FBV policy;
  • Examine how teachers and schools have understood and responded to the requirement to promote FBV, and identify the pedagogies and practices now in place in schools around the promotion of FBV;
  • Highlight similar developments in France in promoting a set of national values through schools.


This event is free and open to all, however, registration is required. Please email Joanna Gzik (j.gzik@ucl.ac.uk)


About the Speakers

Professor Carol Vincent

Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL Institute of Education

Carol Vincent reports on the findings of a two year, Leverhulme-funded project on how teachers understand and promote fundamental British values. The presentation considers the processes of enacting the FBV policy in schools and the resulting practices and pedagogies. It concludes by considering what the enactment of the FBV policy reveals about contemporary understandings of citizenship.

More about Professor Carol Vincent

Dr Reza Gholami

Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Education at University of Birmingham

Reza Gholami presents a paper on secularism, counter-extremism and education. In the context of the formal inclusion of both citizenship and education in the counter-extremism agenda, the paper examines how secularism works through policy to problematize and/or valourise ‘religion’. This has implications for how we approach extremism and ‘fundamental British values’ as well as for teaching and learning generally.

More about Dr Reza Gholami

Jonathan James

PhD student at UCL Institute of Education

Jonathan James reports on interim findings from his doctoral study of reports into the impact of Islamist terrorism on education policy and practice in England and France.

More about Jonathan James

Andreas Pantelides

London secondary school teacher

Andreas Pantelides gives some examples of his approach to teaching contemporary political and social issues.