Schools should instil character in pupils


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced a package of measures to help schools instil character in pupils - including extra funding for projects run by former armed service personnel which help turn around the lives of disadvantaged children.

Eight projects will be given almost £5 million to work with schools - using the values and expertise of the armed services to help young people do better at school and develop their character, including values such as self-confidence, respect and leadership.

Schools that develop and build character, resilience and grit in their pupils will also be recognised for the first time through the new character awards - so that more schools focus on developing well rounded pupils prepared for life in modern Britain.

Applicants will be judged on their approaches and practices to develop character by a panel of education experts, with awards including:

  • £15,000 each for up to 27 schools in all 9 regions of the country, to be announced in February
  • A further national prize of £20,000 to 1 winner, to be announced at an awards ceremony in March

The new funding for military ethos projects comes as a review into evidence and feedback published alongside the announcement shows how these projects can have a positive impact in improving behaviour, attendance and resilience for the young people taking part allowing them to get the most out of school.

Last year, more than 52,000 pupils participated in the schemes across 460 primary schools, secondary schools, sixth-form and further education colleges, and other institutions. This included more than 16,000 pupils who were identified as being disengaged with their school life and 1,333 pupils in alternative provision or excluded from schools.

Character can be developed in pupils in a wide variety of ways, through teaching values in personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) or citizenship lessons, through the full curriculum, or by competing on the playing field or taking part in extra-curricular activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, the National Citizen Service or after school debating clubs.

Applicants to the character awards, who can enter from January, will be judged on the extent to which they have been successful in promoting character education in children and young people, on the level of innovation demonstrated, on the extent to which success is shared with others to spread practice and on their future plans to spend any prize money attracted.

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