A Cabinet Office minister has questioned whether character “can be taught”.
Rob Wilson, the minister for civil society, is in charge of overseeing the government’s National Citizen Service, a scheme created to promote the development of character in young people.
But in an opinion piece published by TES today, Mr Wilson states that rather than being taught, character is instead instilled through life experience.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan gave a speech in December calling on England to become a “global leader” in teaching character, resilience and grit to pupils.
Mr Wilson writes: “That ambiguous term ‘character’ is something which I believe can’t be taught. Instead, it’s built over time through personal experience, and through our relationships with friends, family and peers.
“Our school lives form an integral part to the forming of characters – and since 2011 we have had something extra to offer today’s young people: National Citizen Service.”
Ms Morgan earlier this month announced a raft of programmes aimed at teaching character to England’s pupils, which included a £500,000 project to bring high-profile rugby players and coaches into schools. The scheme was part of a £3.5m pot created to teach character.