Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Northbourne Lord Northbourne Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to build self-confidence in children and young people in secondary schools, especially those who do not perform highly in academic subjects; and what assessment they have made of the impact of extra-curricular activities in building self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

All schools should equip young people with the necessary knowledge and skills to leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. We are working to support schools to develop character traits like self-confidence, motivation and resilience in their students. These traits that can be developed in pupils of any age and in every school through the development of a positive culture and ethos, and supported by a rich provision of classroom and extra-curricular activities.

We have invested £5 million in character education, including £3.5 million of grants for 14 projects and £1 million to the Education Endowment Foundation to build evidence and expand research into the most effective character education. We will continue to support schools in developing the character of their pupils without prescribing compulsory measures. In order to do this, we will develop an online digital platform which will share evidence, innovation, and examples of best practice in character education. We will also promote character education to schools and organisations through a new round of character awards.

Of course, many schools and organisations are already supporting children to develop their character in and outside the classroom and through programmes such as the National Citizen Service (NCS). We will be investing over a billion pounds over the next four years to make NCS a rite of passage and to guarantee every child a place on NCS.

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