Schools Urged To Promote 'Character And Resilience' In Teenagers

11/02/2014 13:03 | Updated 20 May 2015

Young Girl showing her awards of excellence.Alamy

All teenagers should receive a school leaving certificate which details their 'character and resilience' through extra-curricular activities and employability skills, according to a Government-backed report.

The certificate would show that pupils – rather than just graduating from 'exam factories' – have developed traits such as perseverance, self-control and the ability to bounce back from setbacks.

The development of children's 'character and resilience' is so crucial that teachers should be made to organise after school clubs.

The recommendations are contained in a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility and the CentreForum think-tank.

All children should be given a report card – in addition to exam grades – listing their contribution to school life, including membership of sports teams, work experience placements, community work and attitudes towards education.

The move should be made as part of sweeping reforms to the education system designed to get pupils fit for the world of work and prevent schools descending into mere 'exam factories', ministers were told.

The recommendations follow concerns that too many children are leaving school lacking the vital 'soft skills' needed to get by in the workplace and adult life.

Baroness Claire Tyler, the Liberal Democrat peer and vice-chairman of the cross-party group, said children would leave school and university 'much better equipped to face life and its challenges' if the education system 'focussed more on these so-called soft skills'.

The report said that 'alternative mechanisms for reporting pupil outcomes should be developed to sit alongside raw exam outcomes'.

It said: "One such mechanism could be an official School Leaving Certificate that provides evidence of the breadth of a pupil's achievements across a wide range of activities and competencies.

"This could include details of extra-curricular participation and achievements as well as their attainment of the employability skills and attributes valued in the labour market."

John Cridland, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said: "There is a danger that schools become exam factories churning out people who are not sufficiently prepared for life outside the school gates.

"As this important report shows, alongside academic rigour we also need schools to produce rounded and grounded young people who have the skills and behaviours that businesses want."


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