Valuing Teachers: Teaching Universal Values

Photo of Sarah Soyei delivering a keynote speech at the launch event of the Universal Values resource
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Teachers from across Birmingham and the West Midlands gathered at a special event at the City’s Council House for the launch of a new classroom resource on World Teachers’ Day (5 October).

The annual event is an opportunity to highlight the vital work that teachers across the globe carry out every day to inspire, empower and support children and young people to achieve their potential.

The international theme for this year is ‘Valuing Teachers, Improving Their Status’, which aims to highlight the fact that teachers are fundamental to ensuring quality education and equality for every child.

The Equaliteach resource, ‘Universal Values’, sponsored and support by the NASUWT is designed to support teachers in meeting the requirements of the Government’s policy on British values.

The launch event was addressed by Councillor John Clancy Leader of Birmingham City Council, Chris Keates NASUWT General Secretary , Sarah Soyei from Equaliteach and Joy Warmington from BRAP.

A message of support and solidarity with teachers in the UK and across the world was also given by Glen Seidel from the Australian Teachers’ Union, IEUA, on a visit to the UK hosted by the NASUWT.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT said:

“The NASUWT is proud to be once again commemorating World Teachers’ Day, celebrating the theme of valuing teachers and improving their status.

“Treating teachers with respect, valuing teachers and making sure teachers’ skills and abilities are properly rewarded is the key to quality education.

“Attacks on teachers are attacks on children and young people.

“Teachers also need to be supported in their work and the NASUWT focuses all its policy development on seeking to empower them as professionals.  The resource we are launching today with Equaliteach is an example of that.

“This is a time of great challenge for teachers and I am really proud to pay tribute to their outstanding work wherever they are teaching.”

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr John Clancy, a former teacher, thanked teachers for everything they do, and said their work does not go unnoticed.

He said: “I know the challenges of teaching, but I also know the joy of the profession.

“Every child matters and every place matters, so therefore every school and every teacher matters.

“Jobs and skills are crucial to the growth of this city, and teachers are crucial to making sure young people can rise to that challenge.

“As we celebrate World Teachers Day I want to thank you for everything you do.”

As well as celebrating the work of teachers around the globe, the event was also the official launch of a major new resource pack for teachers, developed by the NASUWT and Equaliteach.

The pack, ‘Universal Values’, includes new resources and materials for use in the classroom to support teachers in meeting the duty to promote community cohesion and to tackle the threat of extremism in all its forms.

Sarah Soyei explained the resource and said:

“Fundamental British Values are actually universal values, which is why we’ve chosen this name for the resource pack.

“Values are personal and are core to our understanding of the world.

“They cannot be imposed externally, so if we are working with young people and teaching them about values, we need to adopt a participatory approach, in partnership with the pupil.

“This is the approach we have taken in creating this resource, with the aim of equipping schools to respond to this duty in a cohesive fashion.

“The pack imparts techniques to support teachers to undertake conversations with young people about controversial and sensitive issues, and it shares good practice approaches and activities to support teachers to advocate positive values education.”

The resource can be downloaded for free from the NASUWT, or from our Resource library.

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