The Department for Education has announced that the Church of England will be running one of the projects funded by the Character Education Grant.
The project will pilot 'What If Learning', a cross-curricular model developed by an international partnership of educators. It aims to equip teachers with a practical approach to promoting the development of positive virtues and character traits in the classroom, which lead to success in learning and increased engagement in community and voluntary activities. The model will be piloted in 20 schools across 4 dioceses. The approach will be independently evaluated and resources will be made available to teachers across the country.
The project will be delivered by a collaborative partnership between the Church of England Education Office, the Dioceses of Chester, Derby, Exeter and Peterborough, Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth.
Dr Ian Luke, Dean for Education and Social Sciences at the University of St Mark & St John, said: "With a strong heritage in the education of teachers, The University of St Mark & St John is well-placed to lead on the evaluation of this key project which supports teachers and the development of character virtues in young people. We are very pleased to build upon our strong relationships with the Church of England, the Department for Education and Canterbury Christ Church University.
"The University of St Mark & St John is a values-based institution and is committed to making a positive social impact in communities and, having already established great links with Dioceses in Devon and Cornwall, where we are delivering ground-breaking teacher training programmes, we look forward to the results of this pilot in the 20 schools in different areas of the UK."
The Church of England's Chief Education Officer, Rev'd Nigel Genders, said: "This project is a fantastic example of how the Church's network in education can work together through partnership to secure positive outcomes for pupils across the country.
"We are delighted to be working with the Department for Education to ensure that teachers are equipped to prepare their students to flourish in the future - in work, in their relationships, in their families and as part of communities."
The Director of the National Institute for Christian Education Research at Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Trevor Cooling, said: "Character Education is an increasingly important dimension of education and Canterbury Christ Church University is delighted to be working with the Church of England to make a Christian contribution to its development nationally. What If Learning arose from project work undertaken at Christ Church, so it is a particular pleasure to see it contributing to the Department's vision for Character Education."
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