Damian Hinds sets out his Five Foundations

All children must have access to a wide range of activities to help them build the character and resilience they need to succeed, Education Secretary Damian Hinds will say today (Thursday 7 February). FE News reports.

Character and resilience can be as important as GCSEs in helping young people succeed in life and evidence shows that skills like the ability to deal with setbacks and focus on long term goals can even improve academic outcomes. However children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to be able to access character building activities than their more affluent peers – this needs to change.

Calling time on the phrase ‘public school confidence’, Mr Hinds wants children from all backgrounds to be able to develop such confidence through character building activities. In a speech to the Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership conference, he will announce 5 foundations for building character – sport, creativity, performing, volunteering & membership, and the world of work – and say that all children should be able to access at least one activity from each of these foundations, so that every child has the opportunity to try something they enjoy and want to stick at.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds is expected to say: “I want to make sure every child gets to build up their character and resilience by testing themselves from a range of enjoyable and activities. These activities don’t have to be a result of a physical exertion. They can just as easily be something you do at school or at home or in an office or that isn’t a hobby…”

Following a roundtable on the schools sports action plan, the Government will be exploring how to make it easier for schools to access information on the activities available and help schools and sports governing bodies become more linked up, so pupils can embrace these opportunities. There will then be further work to look at how to signpost schools to other local opportunities such as entrepreneurship programmes, social action and community projects, public speaking and debating workshops.

The 5 foundations for building character, builds on the My Activity Passport, launched in December to support parents and primary schools in introducing children to a wide variety of experiences and fulfilling activities like flying a kite, learning something new about the local area or putting on a performance, in order to spark their interests in activities from a young age.

Read more about the 5 foundations and what they cover  Damian Hinds sets out his Five Foundations

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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