The Character Awards have also elevated the very best examples of character education onto a national platform and paved the way for organisations at the forefront of developing theory and practice to help other educators and influence policy.
These awards were the brainchild of Nicky Morgan MP, for whom character education is ‘vital for preparing young people for modern life in Britain’. As Morgan put it in her speech to Conservative party conference in 2014:
For too long there has been a false choice between academic standards and activities that build character and resilience. But the two should go hand in hand. … As much as I want the next generation to be able to solve a quadratic equation, I also want them to be able to make a compelling pitch for a job, and to be able to bounce back if things don’t work out. That’s why we’ve invested in areas like music, sport and debating that help to shape and teach important values like hard work, discipline, teamwork.Nicky Morgan MP
Recently reinstated as Secretary of State for Education this agenda is now set to play an even greater role in the government’s education policy for the coming 4 years as one of the six key priorities of the department. Character education is being increasingly talked about by politicians, teachers, employers and parents across the world as they question whether teaching virtues such as honesty, self-control, fairness, resilience and respect can be part of the solution to the challenges facing society. Here at Future Foundations we have seen first-hand the incredible results for young people when focus value is placed on developing these traits. Our over-arching goal to help create a generation of inspirational, confident, optimistic young people who are leaders in their lives and within society can and is only achieved through transformative character building programmes.
We’re excited to have been invited to present what we have learnt over the past 10 years at upcoming Character Conferences, alongside other winners of the Character Award. This will be an excellent opportunity to share best practice, meet educators and explore how we can enable more schools to make character education a priority for their students. Details of the conferences, which are open to teaching staff, can be found below.