Megan Mansworth

Why ‘tolerance’ shouldn’t be tolerated in schools

The British Values policy says students should have ‘tolerance’ of others with different beliefs – but this kind of language doesn’t model positive attitudes to diversity, says Megan Mansworth

Why ‘tolerance’ shouldn’t be tolerated in schools

“Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.”

So reads one of the four core British Values strands, which all schools are expected to promote. The intention of this aspect of the British Values framework is positive: it is designed to ensure that all schools introduce students to a range of different beliefs besides their own, and incorporate opportunities for this learning across the curriculum.

Yet the statement contains one problematic word, which perhaps we don’t analyse enough. An abstract noun with benign intentions but ...

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