On 3rd December 2015, Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP, officially opened the University of Birmingham School. The School, the first of its kind in the UK, opened its doors to Year 7 and Year 12 pupils in September 2015. Chair of Governors, Michael Clarke, and University of Birmingham Registrar and Secretary, Lee Sanders, spoke at the official opening, welcoming Ms Morgan and thanking staff and students for their work in establishing the school as one of the leading schools in the City of Birmingham.

Officially opening the School, Ms Morgan said that the ‘work that sets this school off is its emphasis on character, the character and virtues that Professor James Arthur has championed at the University of Birmingham.

School Principal Michael Roden spoke to guests about the successes that the School has achieved already, including over 10 applications per place for Year 7 intake in September 2016.

Guests at the opening were treated to speeches from pupils, including members of the debating team, Year 7 pupils who performed a spoken word piece, and Year 12 pupils who spoke about the focus on character that runs through the curriculum.


Character Strengths for the Working World is an essential event for PSHE Leads, Careers Leads, and Character Education Leads within UK educational institutions. Join us on Thursday, 13th July 2023, from 9am to 5pm at the beautiful Botanical Gardens, Birmingham.


This one-day conference, organised byThe Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, aims to provide insights, knowledge, and networking opportunities for professionals committed to enhancing character development and employability skills in their students.


Our speakers will share their expertise and perspectives on educational policy and best practices for empowering students to excel in the working world through harnessing their character strengths. The event will include keynote speeches, policy and practitioner panels, interactive sessions, and opportunities to connect with a wide range of professionals and experts in the field.


Our line-up of distinguished speakers includes:

• Rt. Hon. Baroness Nicky Morgan (former Secretary of State for Education)

• Bec Tigue (Character Lead at the University of Birmingham School)

• David Harkin (CEO at 8 Billion Ideas)

• Adrian McLean (Character Ambassador and Multi-academy Trust Lead at Severn Academies)

• The Careers and Enterprise Company


Food and refreshments:

Morning coffee and pastries, lunch, afternoon tea, and a drinks reception will be provided as part of registration for you to enjoy.


Free resources:

There will be multiple free resources available for you to take away at this event. We will be launching a new workbook, based on research funded by the Society for Educational Studies, for use by careers guidance professionals and character educators to help students consider who they are, the character traits they aspire towards, and to align their career choices with this. We will also have multiple other free resources that educators can use within their practice based on over a decade of research at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues.


Attendance is free, but spaces are limited. It is essential to reserve your place in advance to avoid disappointment. Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your institution's approach to character education and student employability. Register now to secure your spot at Character Strengths for the Working World.


Register here.