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What is Character Education?

Character Education (CE) is a cross-curricular theme that promotes ‘core civic virtues’. Through it the government seeks to help schools ‘ensure that more children develop a set of character traits, attributes and behaviours that underpin success in education and work’. These are presently defined as being: perseverance, resilience and grit; confidence and optimism; motivation, drive and ambition; neighbourliness and community spirit; tolerance and respect; honesty, integrity and dignity; and conscientiousness, curiosity and focus.

Although the aim of CE is to better equip children to thrive in ‘modern Britain’, alongside being criticized for focusing on increasing academic, and therefore economic success, it can also be seen to posit virtues that are subjective and open to abuse. It is therefore vital that, as a Christian parent with the primary responsibility to develop godly character, you teach your child to distinguish between secular values and the biblical source of Christian values.

This Church of England report ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ provides a helpful review of Character Education: