DfE announces character education funding

Applications open for character grants worth £6 million, aimed at schools promoting traits such as resilience and respect

Schools that are using a wide range of activities to help broaden children’s learning experiences and boost character can now receive a share of £6 million to boost that work and share it with others, Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson has announced.

This year’s character grants – a scheme that began in 2015 to fund schools and organisations promoting traits such as resilience and respect – are aimed at schools that use activities such as sports, debating or music to provide a rounded learning experience for children. From today, schools, colleges and organisations can apply for a share of the £6 million fund.

Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said: “Instilling positive character traits and academic excellence are 2 sides of the same coin – children that develop resilience are far more likely to succeed, not only in school but in later life, too.

“Whether it’s fencing classes, debating clubs or drama societies, I want schools across the country to seize the opportunity to help their pupils thrive by broadening the range of activity that they offer.”

Last year’s character grant winners included Premiership Rugby, which received £500,000 to use the expertise of leading rugby coaches and players to instil character and resilience in disaffected children.

This year’s grants also include up to £2 million earmarked for projects with a military ethos, following the success of initiatives like Commando Joe’s and Challenger Troop, which use the expertise of former armed services personnel to instil resilience in children.

Applications are open to schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and other profit or non-profit organisations.

Proposals must be provided on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis and must be designed to work within or in partnership with school(s) and/or college(s) in England.

Projects are expected to:

  • Increase the number of children aged five to 16 involved in character education activities
  • Develop key character traits that support academic attainment, are valued by employers and that contribute to society
  • Demonstrate potential to be adopted by other schools
  • Involve joint working with other schools
  • How to apply for funding

Organisations have until 23 June to submit a proposal for grant funding. Grants are expected to be awarded by the end of September.

For a full specification, application form and further guidance go to Contracts Finder: character education grants.

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