What is VbE

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Values-based Education (VbE) is a successful worldwide transformational movement for positive change.

Approach to Education

VbE empowers educational settings to underpin their life and curriculum with universal positive human values such as respect, integrity, honesty and compassion.

It is an approach that differs from values education in one particular respect. Values education teaches learners about values. Values-based Education provides a teaching environment in which learners experience those positive universal values first hand throughout their schooling.

An effective VbE environment has three core foundations. All adults model the positive universal values that the school community itself has chosen. The values are developed into an ethical vocabulary which empowers learners and staff to articulate basic and advanced ethical concepts. And the school creates time and space for children to develop reflective practices so their values experiences can be processed into a living guide to self- and interpersonal awareness.


The outcome of developing such an ethical vocabulary is ethical intelligence, which Neil Hawkes, founder of VbE, argues is the most important intelligence for the sustainability of our world.

The ethical vocabulary is the foundation of a new universal narrative through which all human beings, irrespective of culture; religion or ethnicity can communicate, thereby establishing trust and well being.

The outcome of Values-based Education is self-leadership, which enables each individual to work towards fulfilling their wonderful potential.

Neil Hawkes explains aspects of VbE:

Visible Improvements

Schools that have successfully embedded VbE in their whole-school approach see improvements in:

  • staff and pupil relationships
  • respectful, responsible and kind behaviour
  • quality of teaching and learning –┬ámotivated and brave teachers and learners
  • educational standards and outcomes
  • parent and wider community engagement
  • levels of independence and ambition
  • learners’ ability to self-regulate and manage emotions
  • child-centred pedagogy and learner voice
  • staff contentment, recruitment and retention