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Ditch gadgets…and climb trees in 2019

A Call for Evidence, launched on 27 May by the Department for Education, seeks information to support character education and development for children and young people.  This will enable the promotion of a wide range of activities designed to prompt attributes such as kindness, generosity, a sense of justice, respect, integrity and humility.

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, comments, “It’s a good time of year to remind pupils that in 10 years time their exam results might be a distant memory, but the life skills they acquire will stay with them forever…life lessons are learned by having a go. With all of us – but particularly young people – spending more and more time online, we should all put our phones down, look up and get involved in activities that stretch and challenge us.”

The five-week consultation runs until 5 July and is aimed at a very wide audience. Primary and secondary schools, 6th form and FE Colleges, school/college staff and governors, other educational professionals, all organisations providing activities for children and young people, faith groups, businesses, parents and carers…and young people themselves, can complete some or all of the 36 questions.

The results and the response from Ian Bauckham CBE, Chair of the Character Advisory Group, will then be published this autumn. It will be extremely interesting to see what comes from this and to note if, eventually, there will be more emphasis on character development throughout a child or young person’s time in education.

It will be a good opportunity for schools etc which already work very hard to incorporate such aspirations, alongside academic goals, to promote their more holistic approach. An “activity passport” has been launched to encourage school pupils to tick when they’ve completed 140 wide-ranging prescribed tasks and activities from Reception to Year 6. Will this lure youngsters from their online world and inspire them to climb trees, bake cakes or sew on buttons? We will watch with great interest…

Character and Resilience: A Call for Evidence


About the Author

Elizabeth’s career has taken her from teaching, through work in the public affairs industry and into the world of public consultation and engagement. As a Director of the Institute, she has helped to develop many of its unique products and services since 2003.

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