Tomorrow’s wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may divide opinion about the relevance of monarchy.  However it does draw us together as a nation and allow us a moment to reflect on ourselves as a country, our history and relevance in the modern world.  Oh, and appreciate the dress and people in uniform!

As part the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations (2012) Free Schools, along with all schools in England, are expected to promote British Values: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect and Tolerance.  Regardless of your own nationality, country of origin or spiritual faith, if you ask me, these are not only British Values, they are universal human values.  The concepts are common to all of us seeking to live in a sensitive and productive way.  Furthermore, they are born out in my own school’s values of Resilience, Perseverance, Aspiration, Respect, Pride and Curiosity.

Therefore, far from being a “requirement” that forces us to explore these concepts, British Values and our School Values, are woven through everything we are as a school.  From yesterday’s outdoor classroom day to focus on Key Stage 1 SATs.  From Friday Assembly, to our organised and positive playtimes.  From lollipop Friday to the Summer Fair. Our focus as a School and Community is to enable the children to start their journey as thoughtful, caring and well-balanced human beings, prepared to live a successful and productive life.

So, as you watch (or purposefully avoid) tomorrow’s Royal Wedding, at the very least enjoy the sense that we all share common values, including the right to have an opinion on everything from the dress to whether or our taxes should be lavished on such events!   And queuing…

Have a great weekend.


Published by Neil Jones

Free School Principal, writing on leadership in schools. Education anorak, a fan of the learning potential in the social web and of Leyton Orient FC.

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