With Small Charities Week 'Policy Day' well under way, I'd like to take the chance to highlight the importance of the work that we do at Yes Futures, the meaningful impact that Character Education has and why policy makers and influencers should take note!
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).
Evidence Shows that Character Education has a Meaningful Impact.
The importance of Character Education is well established, consolidated in some recently published research 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.
To help 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.