The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

However, since November 2014, childcare providers must now demonstrate how they’re ‘actively promoting’ these values during their Ofsted inspections.

This requirement goes hand in hand with the legislation introduced in July 2015, which places additional responsibility on Early Years providers to prevent children from becoming radicalised (the Prevent Duty).

So, what does promoting British values at your setting actually involve and how can you make sure you’re meeting this requirement? Taking each value in turn, here are some suggestions:


  • Let children know their views count and encourage everyone to value each other’s opinions and values. You can help demonstrate democracy in action, for example, by letting children share views on what activity should come next with a show of hands.
  • Provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration
  • Give children opportunities to develop enquiring minds by creating an atmosphere at your setting where all questions are valued

Rule of Law

  • Ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, helping them to distinguish right from wrong
  • Work with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, such as agreeing the rules about tidying up, and also ensuring children understand that the rules apply to everyone

Individual liberty

  • Provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example, through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course and talking about their experiences and learning
  • Encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand everyone is free to have different opinions

Mutual respect and tolerance

  • Encourage and explain to children about the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting each other’s opinions
  • Promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, by sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences
  • Provide resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping
  • Create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance at your setting where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued
  • Arrange visits whereby children can engage with the wider community
  • Encourage children to acquire a tolerance, appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures by discussing with children the similarities and differences between themselves and others; and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions
  • Share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences

This list is not exhaustive, however, it’s worthwhile bearing in mind that having a minimal approach, for example only having notices on the walls or multi-faith books on the shelves, will fall short of ‘actively promoting’ these values at your setting.

Before your next inspection, an easy way of showing Ofsted how you’re meeting these requirements is to create a page on your childcare website which addresses each of the different British values as headings. You can then write a few paragraphs about how you believe your setting promotes each value in turn, in your own unique way.

Want to know more about how a childcare website can help your setting?

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