Responding to the former Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield’s challenge that we ‘build back better for children’ in the wake of the pandemic, this Statement on Character and the Pandemic offers a reflection on what this could mean from the perspective of character education.
The current language used in ministerial exchanges and in related press coverage has primarily focussed on the cognitive skills required by pupils and the academic learning that they have missed. The Jubilee Centre believes that a focus on character is missing from the exchanges on pupils returning to schools, despite parents speaking of their desire for their children to rekindle their social friendships in the school community. We believe it is the language of character that will be required as we build back better and navigate towards a new landscape in schools.
As this Statement outlines, we must support young people by helping them to learn in creative ways, together with others, enabling them and those around them to build back stronger, toward a shared flourishing future. This Statement was sent, in March 2021, to the Secretary of State for Education Rt. Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, as well as to a variety of other senior education stakeholders across the UK Government including Sir Kevan Collins, Education Recovery Commissioner.
The full Statement is available here.