Published: 15:35, 23 June 2021
| Updated: 15:59, 23 June 2021
A head teacher of a primary school has said she the One Britain One Nation Day is not needed as her pupils are already taught British values.
The campaign was created by a former police officer to instil pride in Britain through a celebratory day this Friday.
The Department for Education (DfE) said it is encouraging schools across the UK to mark the day so “children can learn about our shared values of kindness, pride and respect”.
This includes a song that has divided opinion.
But Hayley King, head teacher at Tiger Primary School in West Malling thinks it is not the best use of her pupils' time and says it doesn't reflect the values already taught at the school.
Speaking to KentOnline today, she said: "It's not that we don't feel it's a worthwhile day but the children have missed so much time of learning through the pandemic and there's been such an emphasis on us trying to help them catch up on their maths, their reading and their writing that to take time out to learn a song was perhaps not the best use of the time we have in school.
"As a primary schools we teach British values all the time and our emphasis on our curriculum is about tolerance, respect, being kind and having pride as a nation in what we do and I feel we don't need one day to mark that. It's something we should do all the time."
The school has a Cool to Be Kind project where each week the children have a different project on topics including what it means to be part of a community, kindness and tolerance.
Ms King explained: "It allows us to think about others and as that's something we do all of the time having one day would take away from our other learning. It's not a valuable use of the children's time."
The concept of One Britain One Nation Day was founded by retired police inspector Kash Singh.
Speaking to Times Radio Mr Singh said: “We started the concept in Bradford and West Yorkshire, and it’s been very, very successful indeed, so what we want to look at is taking it across the nation.
“It was something that was born from my dream as a police officer, in terms of what I’d see, in terms of my passion, pride and frustration, and something that I feel needed to be done in this country.
Head teacher Hayley King
“This country is a brilliant country. I came to this country as a six-year-old kid who couldn’t speak a word of English. My parents were labourers, they worked in a factory and foundry, and there are fantastic people in this country.
“One of the things that was missing for me was what we need to do, is we need an organisation that the people of this country can align themselves to, to showcase their passion, pride and love for this great nation.
“Some people may have this perception that not everybody is proud of this country – let me tell you, people like me, and the millions of people who’ve settled in this country from other parts of the world, are so proud of this country.
“I think we need to celebrate that and create this spirit of oneness and togetherness, and showcase that we’re all one people of this country regardless of where you’re from.”
Schools across the country are being asked to sing the song on Friday. But Ms King feels the words could have been looked at more closely.
"I feel the message about being inclusive was missed a little in the song..."
She said: "It's lovely it was written by children however I do think it needed editing from someone else. I was a little concerned because we have quite a multi-cultural community here - we cover all corners of the UK and many members from across Europe and other parts of the world - and I kind of felt it wasn't inclusive enough.
"It was too English. I don't want to be too political but our whole emphasis is about being inclusive for all and some parts of the UK may feel it didn't truly represent them
"What does it actually mean? What does it mean at this point? What we try and stand for in our values isn't about being a strong Britain.
"It's about unity about equality and a celebration of who we are and bringing those cultures and nationalities together from all around the world because as a strong Britain we need people from around the world to fulfill those roles in our country to enable us to function in the way that we do.
"I feel the message about being inclusive was missed a little in the song.
"We have really taught the children to value those who have supported us through the pandemic and again we do a lot of work around those who help us and valuing people and the roles that they do
"By us not doing this day doesn't mean we're not appreciative of those who have really worked hard through the pandemic.
"I'd hate to think people think we are shunning that idea because it isn't about that. every school in the country is really appreciative for what others have done for us."