‘Core British values’ should be on citizenship curriculum, says government

UK schools should teach cultural diversity and “core British values” as part of citizenship lessons, according to a government report.

The study, by Sir Keith Ajegbo, former head teacher of a London school and a Home Office adviser, found that UK schools did not put enough emphasis on British identity and history.

The review recommended that secondary schools should make cultural diversity a compulsory part of the citizenship curriculum.

Ajegbo said that more needed to be done to engage white children on the issues of identity and diversity.

“Many indigenous white pupils have negative perceptions of their own identity,” he said.

“It makes no sense in our report to focus on minority ethnic pupils without trying to address and understand the issues for white pupils. It is these white pupils whose attitudes are overwhelmingly important in creating community cohesion.

“Nor is there any advantage in creating confidence in minority ethnic pupils if it leaves white pupils feeling disenfranchised and resentful.”

Education secretary Alan Johnson described his concept of “Britishness” in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

“It involves the values that we hold very dear in Britain which is free speech, which is tolerance, which is respect for the rule of law,” he said.

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