Fundamental(ly) British Values
Thursday 16 November 2017, 14:00 - 18:00
UCL Garden Room, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
– Prof. Douglas Bourne (Prof. of Development Education, UCL, Institute of Education)
– Prof. Piet Eeckhout (Dean, UCL, Faculty of Laws)
– Prof. Becky Francis (Dean, UCL Institute of Edcuation)
– Dr. Oliver Gerstenberg (Reader in EU Law, UCL Faculty of Laws)
– Dr. Myriam Hunter-Henin (Reader in Law and Religion, UCL Faculty of Laws)
– Dr Germ Janmaat (Reader in Comparative Social Science, UCL Institute of Education)
– Dr. Ronan McCrea (Senior Lecturer in EU Law and Law and Religion, UCL Faculty of Laws)
– Prof. Colm O’Cinneide (Professor of Human Rights Law, UCL Faculty of Laws)
– Dr Farid Panjwani (Director, UCL, Institute of Education)
– Prof. Julian Rivers (Professor of Jurisprudence, Bristol University, Law School)
– Prof. Carol Vincent (Professor of the Sociology of Education, UCL Institute of Education)
About this event:
The “Fundamental British Values” discourse has been highly controversial and is of significant importance in a wide range of areas.
The UCL Faculty of Laws, together with the Institute of Education will bring together a range of experts in the areas of EU constitutional law, law and religion, discrimination law, philosophy, citizenship education and sociology of education to discuss the significance and consequences of this discourse from a wide range of perspectives.
This event will allow participants to understand the Fundamental British Values discourse from a number of perspectives, specifically:
- How the emphasis on “values” has changed education and affected the complex inter-relationships between faith, values and civic virtues at school
- How the fundamental British values discourse fits into the overall approach of the English legal order to the relationship between religion, law and state.
- The interaction between the duty to promote British values at school and duties to promote social cohesion and avoid discrimination on grounds of religion and belief.
- How the security agenda underlying the Fundamental British Values discourse has reshaped the relationships between religion, education and extremism
- The significance of British fundamental values in the English constitutional legal order
- The impact of the fundamental British Value discourse on human rights and legal reasoning
- The interactions between the Fundamental British Value discourse, democracy and the political legal order
The event is aimed at academics, teachers, lawyers as well as the wider public.
The academic coordinators – Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin and Prof. Carol Vincent – will publish a joint article in The Conversation, drawing out the common themes from the papers and discussions of the event. The piece will focus on what the mandatory promotion of British values in schools means for practice in schools, and for wider debates around democracy and citizenship, with particular reference to the social and political context of Brexit and anti-extremism policies.
14:00-14:15 – Welcome
Prof. Piet Eeckhout (UCL Faculty of Laws) and
Prof. Becky Francis (UCL Institute of Education)
14:15-15:30 – First Panel: Conceptual and Legal Perspectives on Fundamental British Values
Chair: Prof. Piet Eeckhout (UCL Faculty of Laws)
Fundamental British Values: A new order of Law and Religion relationships
My contribution will focus on the degree to which increasing diversity is driving a ‘juridification’ of a number of areas, including the teaching of key social and cultural values in education. As societal consensus on key matters decreases, the need for explicit rules setting out predominant or agreed approaches increases. The rigidity of the law as a tool means that such juridification can pose significant problems.
Dr Ronan McCrea (UCL Faculty of Laws)
Fundamental British Values: a populist turn in law
This paper will argue that the Fundamental British Value discourse represents a significant populist turn in law. Having demonstrated the correlation between the Fundamental British Value rhetoric and populism, I will analyse its consequences, both for human rights and legal reasoning itself.
Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin (UCL Faculty of Laws)
The significance of Fundamental British Values in the Constitutional Order
This paper will analyse the conceptual tensions generated by attempts to delineate ‘Fundamental British Values’ in a situation where the British state lacks a thick set of agreed constitutional commitments to any such values – and the inevitable issues that arise as to who and how gets to determine the content of such values.
Prof Colm O’Cinneide (UCL Faculty of Laws)
Freedom of conscience, deliberative democracy, and the value of religious diversity
My contribution addresses the role of freedom of conscience in modern, advanced democracies from a normative perspective. Contrary to the Fundamental British Values discourse, contemporary political-liberal thought has increasingly emphasized the affirmative implications of freedom of conscience and religious liberty: the idea that religious diversity is a positive value for democracy. My aim is to explore the implications of this argument. I will suggest that from the perspective, of not only negative, but positive or deliberative-democratic constitutionalism, religious diversity can be seen as strengthening the liberal culture of democracy. The argument, if successful, militates in favour of a generous reading of freedom of conscience as an also-political right.
Dr Oliver Gerstenberg (UCL Faculty of Laws)
Fundamental British Values, Extremism and Terrorism
In my paper, I argue that the policy turn towards ‘counter-extremism’ and Fundamental British Values represents a clumsy, and indeed potentially oppressive, attempt to juridify the socio-political preconditions of liberal democratic constitutionalism. This requires us both to explore and restate the limits of law and to think creatively about how the patterns of civic virtue on which limited law depends can (lawfully) be secured.
Prof. Julian Rivers (Bristol University, Law School)
15:30-16:00 – Discussion
16:00-16:30 – Break
15:45-18:00 – Second Panel: Empirical and Educational Perspectives on Fundamental British Values
Chair: Dr Farid Panjwani (UCL Institute of Education)
Educational Influences on Fundamental British Values
In 2014 the British Government called on schools to actively promote fundamental British values (FBVs), seeing this as an effective way to prevent the radicalization of young people. The government considers these values to include democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, and respect for people of different backgrounds and religions. In this presentation I explore support for FBVs among young people in England and assess whether levels of support are associated with educational attainment and distinct educational practices.
Dr Germ Janmaat (UCL Institute of Education)
Bringing the Global Into British Values
Since 2012, the Global Learning Programme for schools in England has been a major vehicle for supporting teachers in how to include themes such as social justice, rights, democracy and respect in the classroom. As these themes align closely with some of the underlying principles behind the promotion of British Values within schools, many teachers have been able to bring a global dimension into this area of teaching and learning. This presentation will look at how using the ‘peg’ of British Values can become used to encourage the promotion of themes such as empathy, critical thinking and looking at issues through different perspectives.
Dr Douglas Bourne (UCL Institute of Education)
Cohesion, citizenship and coherence: The British values policy in schools
This paper considers how teachers understand and respond to the dual imperative to promote British values (part of the current Ofsted inspection) and an older (but no longer inspected) duty to promote ‘community cohesion’. I draw upon data (interviews with teachers, and lesson observations) from an on-going research project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, to explore the way in which these policies are enacted in different schools, leading to a wide range of activities.
Prof. Carol Vincent (UCL Institute of Education)
17:15-18:00 – Discussion
18:00-19:00 – Drinks reception
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