Tougher Minds has taken part in a series of character education workshops organised by Demos, the UK’s leading cross-party think-tank. The central London events, which were also attended by a range of education practitioners and policy experts, included discussions about the precise nature of character education and possible whole-school and whole-system solutions.
Demos say the workshops will feed in to a major research project, supported by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, due to publish early in the next Parliament.
“We are delighted that our organisation has been included in what are important events for the advancement of character education. We feel it’s vital that it doesn’t just become an add-on to other elements of the curriculum and school life”, commented Tougher Minds Founder and Director Jon Finn.
“As we said at the conclusion of our recent ‘Developing resilient minds’ conference, we believe these approaches should become an integral part of how pupils are taught so they able to manage themselves every day and perform to their very best.
“Via our work with Colfe’s School and Teach First, we have developed a highly effective programme for teaching young people to independently deploy the self-control they need to be successful in education and life, and how to show resilience in paying attention to important academic subjects.”
Finn added:”The opportunity to share this understanding and experience with policy and education practitioners is very welcome and valuable”.
A spokesperson for Demos also commented:”Character education is a hot topic in education policy.
“Tristram Hunt, the then Shadow Education Secretary, has made it one of his defining issues. And earlier this month, at the ceremony for the inaugural Character Awards, Nicky Morgan, the then Secretary of State, said that ‘character education is a central part of our plan for education.”
Professor Jim McKenna, a Tougher Minds senior consultant and research lead, and Andrew Foster, who runs Tougher Minds’character and resilience programme at Colfe’s school, and also works on Tougher Minds Teach First projects, attended the Demos workshops on behalf of the consultancy. During the events, the successful Tougher Minds approach was presented to attendees alongside discussions relating to the political context of the concepts and the broader evidence base. Key questions were addressed, such as how does character education overlap and differ from PSHE, Citizenship and SEAL; and what are the barriers and incentives to it becoming more widespread.
Recently, a group of Colfe’s Schoo pupils who benefitted from the Tougher Minds programme were included in a video, filmed at the recent “Developing resilient minds in education” conference. The young people – from Years 11 and 12 – talk about their experiences and the positive outcomes.
Please contact us to discuss the needs of your school and to learn more about the power and effectiveness of our character and resilience programmes.