Following her recent announcement that ex-soldiers will help build pupils’ character, Nicky Morgan has announced that results are no more important than their ‘grit and resilience’.
The government wants lessons to build pupils’ ‘character’ to be put on a par with academic subjects, to ensure that pupils are prepared for life, the Telegraph reports.
Schools and community organisation in England will be able to bid for a share of £3.5 million to provide classes and extra-curricular activities that build ‘grit’ and ‘resilience’ in schoolchildren. There will be lessons in self-control and humour, rewards for pupils who reach goals through hard work, plus military drills and assault courses run by ex-servicemen.
The DfE insisted that the fund is “designed to place character education on a par with academic learning for pupils across the country”. It is investing a further £1 million in research into the “most effective ways that character can be taught”.
Traditionalists will be alarmed at what may be seen as a downgrading of traditional academic subjects in favour of a focus on skills, but Mrs Morgan described the scheme as a milestone: “Excellent teachers already produce well-rounded pupils and today’s news will give more schools the support, inspiration and resources to go even further,” she said. “The move is a landmark step for our education system. It will cement our position as a global leader in teaching character and resilience and will send a clear signal that our young people are being better prepared than ever before to lead tomorrow’s Britain.”
Can ‘character’ be taught? Should lessons about building it be as important as academic subjects?