An advisory group that aims to examine how best to help schools run more character- and resilience-building activities has been created.

Arguing that character and resilience are key to improving social mobility, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that it important that young people try new activities – and that they learn from failure.

Research published by the Department for Education (DfE) suggests that sports, fitness and outdoor pursuits are the activities that attract most interest from pupils aged between 11 and 16.

Launching a call for evidence on how best to build character and resilience, the DfE set out a list of five key elements.

  1. Sport, including competitive sport as well as activities such as running, martial arts, swimming, orienteering and yoga.

  2. Creativity, which encompasses all creative activities from coding to arts and crafts, graphic design, film making and music composition.

  3. Performing, by which is meant dance, theatre and drama, musical performance, and debating or public speaking.

  4. Volunteering and membership, where the focus is on teamwork, practical action in the service of others or groups, litter-picking, fundraising, and structured programmes such as Guides, Scouts, Cadets and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

  5. Work, where children and young people can gain practical experience of the world of work or entrepreneurship.

The call for evidence is intended to help shape the recommendations that the Character Advisory Group, chaired by Ian Bauckham of the Tenax School Trust, is scheduled to publish later this year.

It seeks views on the importance of character and examples of good provision and practice used by schools, colleges and other institutions.

Other members of the advisory group include James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues; and Dame Julia Cleverdon, Co-founder of Step up to Serve.

The consultation is open until 5 July.

Last reviewed 26 June 2019