80 percent of teachers say character education would improve school grades

April 17, 2018, University of Birmingham
Credit: University of Birmingham

80 percent of teachers surveyed across the UK say that character education would improve school grades – according to findings in a new poll.

The 450 practising teachers surveyed suggested that a greater focus on character in schools would have a positive impact on pupil attainment.

The research conducted by Populus and the University of Birmingham's Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, asked teachers about current character education provision within their schools, and the potential impact a greater focus on character might have.

Adapted from previous Jubilee Centre research, the poll defined character education as provision focused on developing 'positive strengths such as honesty, confidence, and critical thinking," and teaching students to 'understand what is ethically important in difficult situations and how to choose the right course of action."

Professor James Arthur, Director of the University of Birmingham's Jubilee Centre, said:

"This poll provides a further indication from teachers that a greater focus on character education in schools would not only help to develop the skills young people need when venturing out into the world of work, but also help to improve academic attainment."

Credit: University of Birmingham

The survey findings show that whilst only 1 in 3 teachers are aware of their school having a specific character education policy in place, provision for character development is currently delivered through a number of routes.

The two most commonly reported by teachers were PSHE/ Citizenship classes (58 percent), and as part of the 'whole-school ethos' (48 percent).

However, when asked where they thought such provision should be delivered to have the greatest effect, whole-school ethos was the most popular option at 65 percent, with the other two most popular responses being PSHE/ Citizenship (56 percent), and through all curriculum subjects (47 percent) .

Professor Arthur, University of Birmingham added: "These findings also corroborate previous Jubilee Centre research that has highlighted the transformational impact that placing character at the heart of a school's ethos can have."

Participants in the survey came from a diverse range of British schools, including teachers from primary, secondary and alternative provision; faith and non-faith; different levels of seniority within the school; and across school status, including local authority, academy, free, special, alternative provision and independent schools.

Interestingly, participants also suggested that a greater focus on character education within their school may have a positive impact upon their own practice, with 70 percent of teachers indicating as such.

Explore further: Schools must teach children character and values, a new poll shows

Related Stories

Companion robots could help our rural schools

February 15, 2018

Companion robots could be used in rural schools to help motivate students to study science and technology, and to provide comfort, according to University of Auckland research.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.