The Department for Education’s Character Education Grant programme is intended to encourage children to develop character traits which will help them to become positive members of society. Schools have until 6 February to apply for a grant from the £3.5m fund.
The grant is intended to either create new, or expand existing projects which encourage the development of positive character traits, such as:
- Conscientiousness, curiosity and focus
- Perseverance, resilience and grit
- Confidence and optimism
- Motivation, drive and ambition
- Neighbourliness and community spirit
- Tolerance and respect
- Honesty, integrity and dignity
On the grant website, there are suggestions on the sorts of projects they expect to consider, including additional staff training to allow integration of character eduction into the wider curriculum, peer support projects, extra curricular activities and developing additional teaching and learning materials. Of particular interest to SEND schools is the suggestion to establish innovative ways to build character in children with high risk factors, such as special education needs or a disability, poor family functioning; maltreatment and poverty. This may involve techniques to help children deal with their own mental and physical challenges and/or to provide enriched educational and employment opportunities which would not otherwise be available to them. Grants are expected to range from £50,000 to £750,000 and will be awarded by the end of April.
On the subject of character, The DfE have also opened applications for the 2015 Character Awards. A top prize of £35,000 and regional prizes of £15,000 are on offer. The awards are for organisations who wish to be considered a leader in character education. A list of the organisations eligible for entry can be found below. Applications close on 30 January.
- all primary and secondary schools, including academies, free schools and special schools
- alternative provision and pupil referral units
- academy trusts may apply as a single organisation
- schools and/or organisations applying in partnership (applicants must state a lead applicant who will be awarded the full prize)
- private sector and non-profit organisations (you will need to have a track record running similar projects with the compulsory school age group and evidence of sustainable impact in past projects, and you will need to supply 2 references)
- local authorities may apply as a single organisation