The Importance of Character Education
Updated: Oct 16, 2019
In the proposed changes to Ofsted's Inspection Framework, Ofsted are set to focus more on the personal development of children, examining what schools do to develop young people's resilience and confidence.
Yes Futures firmly believes that these skills can be nurtured and developed in every young person, with a meaningful and consistent approach to Character Education. However, despite the Department for Education (DfE) investing £6 million in Character Education in 2016, only 17% of schools have a formalised character education policy (DfE report, August 2017).
We have some free resources available to support you to introduce Character within your school (you can access these below).
Evidence Shows that Character Education has a Meaningful Impact
The importance of Character Education is well established, consolidated in research published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They found that improving social emotional skills in young people enhances their long term wellbeing and leads to other positive long term outcomes. Their research concluded that:
“With strong social emotional skills, students do better in school.”
“With strong social emotional skills, a student is more likely to graduate from college and get a well-paying job.”
Their research lists communication, teamwork, self-awareness, self-motivation and grit (resilience) as key social emotional skills, consistent with Yes Futures’ key talent areas.
This research goes on to advocate programmes which build social emotional skills as valuable, sustainable investments for schools. They found that each dollar invested in social emotional skill-building programmes can return over $11 in benefits.
There is no doubt that the benefits of Character Education can have a prolonged, meaningful impact on a child’s life.
Incorporating Character Education Into Schools is Achievable and Valuable
The DfE’s research found that the biggest barrier preventing schools from providing Character Education was a lack of staff time and capacity. Nicky Morgan’s book highlights how character can be built into existing lessons rather than creating a whole new strand of work for teachers.
How can you incorporate Character Education within your school?
To support teachers, we have a free lesson plan designed to give students an initial understanding of character, and a further Introducing Character Scheme of Work which takes students on a deeper character development journey.
For those students who would benefit from more targeted support, our Finding Futures (KS2) and Rising Futures (KS3&4) programmes place minimal strain on teachers, with Yes Futures’ highly trained staff taking responsibility for your students’ developmental journey.
Incorporating Character Education into the existing framework of a school is achievable and extremely valuable to students. Please get in touch with the Yes Futures team for more information about our programmes and how we can work together to improve Character Education in your school.