Damian Hinds speech to the National Conference
Last Updated: Friday 8 February

Education Secretary sets out five foundations to build character

Damian Hinds spoke at the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership conference about his vision to help children build character and resilience.

(Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Relevant paragraph only...

There are great opportunities out there. As you know, schools have a duty to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of their pupils.

This is done throughout the school day through things like RE lessons but also by reinforcing or encouraging pupils’ self-belief and self worth.

Take St Mary of Charity CofE Primary School which I visited recently. It’s part of Aquila, the Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust. It had been rated ‘inadequate’ before joining the trust and is now ‘outstanding’ with a strong school ethos focusing on perseverance and resilience. I asked one 10-year-old what resilience meant and she told me in a very straightforward way: “It’s just believing in yourself, really, isn’t it?”. The pupils, all of whom are an absolute credit to the school, were keen, enthusiastic, willing to try new things.

It’s at school that pupils will learn how to stand on the shoulders of giants, those individuals with stories of inspiration and courage from all corners of the curriculum: from RE, from history, from literature.

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