Young ‘Special Agents of Change’ from Yeading Junior School, with their head teacher Carole Jones.

In recognition of the work in schools to help young people build character and resilience, the Department for Education will be relaunching the Character Awards, which highlight innovative or outstanding programmes that develop a wide variety of positive character traits. Schools will be able to enter in October, ahead of the awards ceremony in March 2020. Nominations will be considered in the following categories; school culture and ethos, curriculum and teaching; collaboration; a character champion; or delivering against the 5 Foundations for Building Character.

Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE, Co founder of the #iwill campaign and Vice President of Business in the Community said:

The Character Awards announced today by the DfE will give a much needed opportunity to celebrate the brilliant work schools and colleges are doing to develop character education, spread best practice and showcase innovation and impact. Parents, teachers and employers know that developing character and building self esteem underpins young people’s success and happiness in their life, work and contribution to society.

As co-founder of the #iwill campaign, a movement of over 1000 cross-sector partners across the UK, we know that taking part in social action builds young people’s confidence, empathy, resilience, voice and values. We hope the Character Awards will highlight how many more young people, particularly from low-income backgrounds, are building character through making a positive difference to their communities.

Kerri Hall, Director of Partnerships and Impact and #iwill Education lead said:

We are delighted with the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement of the DfE’s intention to relaunch their Character Awards.  This will be a fantastic opportunity for schools and colleges to recognise the great work they do to empower their students to lead positive change in their communities through youth social action.

The #iwill campaign’s co-founder, Dame Julia Cleverdon, as well a #iwill partners at the Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues; PSHE Association; Pearson; Chartered College of Teaching & many more, have been advising the DfE on this work through the DfE’s Character Advisory Group. We are looking forward to continuing to support our partners in the DfE to shape the Character Awards and their wider character work in the coming months