Schools will not be rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in Personal Development without evidence of building character
The new Ofsted Framework for Inspection of Schools was published today for consultation and contains what the Jubilee Centre has been advocating since its launch in 2012 – namely that schools have a duty to support the character development of their pupils. The new Framework, underneath the heading of ‘Personal Development’, states that inspectors’ judgements in this area will take into account how schools are ‘developing pupils’ character, the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct, so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others’. This is a major turning point for character education in England; all of England’s 22,000 schools will be asked to explicitly demonstrate how they develop the character of their pupils.
The language of character in the new Framework (see below) echoes the work of the Jubilee Centre more broadly, as well as the Jubilee Centre’s consultations with OFSTED in the development stages of the Framework.
The Education Inspection Framework
27. Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which:
The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy
School inspection handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act
This judgement focuses on the dimensions of the personal development of pupils that our education system has agreed, either by consensus or statute, are the most significant:
- developing pupils’ character, the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others. This gives pupils the qualities they need to flourish in our society
Grade descriptors for personal development
- The way the school goes about developing pupils’ character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others.
- The curriculum and the school’s wider work support pupils to develop character.
Early years inspection handbook Handbook for inspecting early years in England
Personal Development criteria –
- The curriculum promotes and supports children’s emotional security and development of their character. Children are gaining a good understanding of what makes them unique. P37
Further education and skills inspection handbook Handbook for inspecting further education and skills providers
Personal Development –
- Providers can take effective action to extend learners’ experiences, but the impact may not be seen for many years. Inspectors will not make judgements about the impact of the personal development of learners. Their judgements about learners’ personal development are concerned with the opportunities that learners get to help them develop their character, confidence and resilience. These include opportunities and support to keep themselves healthy, Further education and skills inspection handbook January 2019, No. 180042 49 both physically and mentally. Inspectors will consider the support learners get to develop their plans for their next steps, including to employment. P48
- The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence and, where relevant, help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy. P50
Education inspection framework Overview of research
However, intentionally investing in character education using a whole-school approach, modelling desired behaviours at both school and teacher level, integrating character development with a strong curriculum rather than doing this as a standalone separate activity, developing pupils’ intrinsic motivation, shared core values and positive relationships have been posited as key ways in which schools can develop pupils’ character (Lickona et al, 2002; Berkowitz et al, 2016). P30