Helen Ward

If you really want to inspire pupils, meet their parents

Children may worship footballing superstars or admire world leaders but their real heroes are closer to home

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Most parents don’t play international football or lead millions of oppressed people to overcome injustice – but they are still the most inspiring people in their children’s lives.

A survey for The Future Leaders Trust, which trains teachers to head schools in disadvantaged areas, asked 7- to 18-year-olds to name their biggest inspiration.

Superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was the single most-named individual celebrity – cited by 6.4 per cent of pupils – and finished above Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Lionel Messi and Nelson Mandela.

But they all trailed well behind children’s own ...

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