Westminster Education Forum

Character education in England - designing the school curriculum, expanding extra-curricular provision and developing a new support framework

Morning, Thursday, 21st November 2019

Central London


This seminar follows the Secretary of State outlining his vision for character education - including calling on schools to support and learn from each other to build students’ character, along with support from business and community groups.

We expect discussion to draw on the report of the advisory group for government on supporting the teaching of character education due in Autumn, following the recently closed call for evidence by the Secretary of State to inform the group’s work.

The discussion takes place in the context of the implementation of Ofsted’s new inspection framework, with its increased focus on character through the introduction of a personal development and positive attitudes judgement, and with inspectors evaluating the extent to which schools support pupils to develop their character - including resilience, confidence and independence.

Delegates - including stakeholders in the education sector and policymakers - will assess the framework being developed by the Character Advisory Group to the Department for Education, as well as questions about how character education can be measured.

We also expect discussion on the link between character and well-being, and the role of schools in equipping young people to tackle future challenges.

Attendees will consider the challenges - and how schools will need to be supported to focus on student character development as well as academic achievement - in the context of the new Ofsted inspection criteria.

Sessions will look at the practicalities of integrating character into primary and secondary teaching, including resources and teaching methods; issues for teacher training, preparation and support through CPD; and how to increase teacher engagement.

Further sessions will look at the development of character outside the classroom, in particular through extracurricular activities.

They will also look at how the extracurricular offering to young people can be improved to ensure increased access to activities for disadvantaged students and high-quality outcomes.

This comes as the Social Mobility Commission conduct research into the impact of extra-curricular activities, networks and soft skills can have on social mobility - with the Secretary of State confirming that the results of the study will inform how government will work to increase the range of cultural experiences offered to disadvantaged students.

Keynote Speakers

Ian Bauckham

Chair, Character Advisory Group to the Department for Education

Roary Pownall HMI

National Lead for Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship, Ofsted

Keynote Speakers

David Lorimer

Chief Consultant, Character Education Scotland

Roary Pownall HMI

National Lead for Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship, Ofsted

Ian Bauckham

Chair, Character Advisory Group to the Department for Education

Michael Lynas

Chief Executive, National Citizen Service


Baroness Perry of Southwark

Lord McNicol of West Kilbride

Trustee and Board Member, National Citizen Service


Dame Julia Cleverdon

Co-founder and Trustee, Step Up To Serve; Chair, The National Literacy Trust; Vice President, Business in the Community and Member, Character Advisory Group to the Department for Education

Usman Ahmed

Trainee Special Constable, Bedfordshire Police; Apprentice, Business Administration, National Citizen Service Trust and Young Ambassador, #iWill

Judith Webster

Chief Executive, Music for Youth

Wayne Morris

Community & Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Premiership Rugby

Gary Lewis

Chair, Association for Character Education and Executive Headteacher, Kings Langley Secondary School, Hertfordshire

Ellie Garraway

Chief Operating Officer, Grit: breakthrough programmes

Jemima Waltho

Enrichment Manager, Ormiston Academies Trust

Hannah Tudor

Headteacher, St Mary of Charity CEP School, Kent

Tom Ravenscroft

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Skills Builder Partnership

Martin Russell

Rights Respecting Schools Award Senior Professional Advisor, Unicef

Iesha Small

Head of Strategy, YHA

Janette Alvarado-Cruz

Collaborative Engagement and Retention Manager, Nottingham Trent University