Why do the British place such a premium on teaching good manners? In short, they believe it will give their child an advantage in life.
"Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot." Clarence Thomas
The British have a strong sense of what is appropriate and what is not – and that is because manners are taught from a very early age. It's common to see middle class parents teaching a tiny child to 'wait their turn' at the playground. And so children learn a social etiquette that becomes second nature to them.
Good manners are seen as a sign of a good upbringing. Certainly a child with poor manners reflects badly on their parents. Everything from not giving up a seat on a bus to not holding a knife and fork properly will be noticed by the adults around them. Quite simply, manners make social interactions easier. As such it's important that the child understands the importance of manners as well as the manners themselves.
Of course, as children copy everything they see and hear, parents who value good manners and who model them will find it much easier to raise a child with them too.