From The Head - Friday 15th September 2023

From The Head - Friday 15th September 2023

Julia Langford, Headteacher of The Ryleys School, a private school in Alderley Edge, CheshireThe findings of the new 'World Values Survey' have been released by The Policy Institute at King's College London which is the study of people's social, political, economic, religious and cultural values around the world over three decades. The survey covers 120 countries and the questionnaire has extensive coverage of a huge range of attitudes, beliefs and values.

When reading this article, of particular interest was the data which focuses on the changing attitudes to parenting and the qualities we want in our children. As I have previously highlighted, the most successful outcomes for children are achieved when the school and parents have a mutually supportive relationship and values are aligned, so it is always useful to understand different attitudes and approaches to parenting.

The main findings showed a decline in the perceived importance of obedience and unselfish- ness (though this is still relatively highly valued) while there was an increase in how much people value hard work and imagination. Of the 11 traits asked about, good manners and tolerance/respect for other people still remain the two most important coming first and second in the table in both 1990 and 2022.

Values are basic, fundamental beliefs that motivate attitudes or actions; they help us to determine what is important to us and are qualities that are personal to each individual. Understandably, values are very much dictated and developed by the environment in which we grow, especially the formative years within the family home.

It is very heartening to read that manners, tolerance and respect are still so highly valued as they are very much at the centre of what we promote in school. While general views on the subjects of obedience have shown that these are less of a priority for many Brits, I hope that we would all agree that discipline is still an important quality to learn - it is difficult for children to progress and thrive in the midst of disorder and anarchy or in fact for society to function at all!

Julia Langford