12th December 2019

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Consultation: Character and Sport

In Partnership with The Jubilee Centre For Character & Virtues

Character and Sport are linked; linked in the media, linked in practice, and linked in education. Sport builds character, or so the myth goes. Practising sport builds resilience, determination, self-discipline, teamwork, and a whole host of other virtues, whether you are kicking a football around on a field with jumpers for goalposts, or playing elite sport and competing in the Athletics World Championships in Doha. We don’t test this, it is taken as read. Elite sportsmen and sportswomen speak of ‘showing character’ in their performances, and pundits, journalists, and fans comment on the lack of character when it is absent from performances, or evident in scandals of questionable behaviour, or win-at-all-costs mentalities.

So what is ‘character’ in sport? Does watching, participating in, and teaching and coaching sport need a moral dimension? How does one learn about respect and fairness? How do you coach someone the ‘spirit of the game’? The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has previously found that participating in sports is not necessarily a precursor to developing ‘good’ moral reasoning when presented with moral dilemmas, any more than participating in drama or choir is (Arthur et al., 2015). However, sport does have a hold over young people in terms of having a positive influence on their conception of what it means to live a ‘good life’ (Arthur et al., 2017). This consultation sought to bring together those researching, teaching, and delivering sport-based programmes in the community to discuss the place of a moral focus in sport, and how this can help individuals and communities flourish.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

3rd December 2019

Creating a long term plan for our country’s education system – a new approach

In Partnership with the Foundation for Education Development

You will be well aware that education policy in England is currently set by central government and driven by ministers of state. Over the past 60 years in England, the average tenure of a Secretary of State for Education has been two years. As a result, education policy has been determined primarily by the preferences of the incumbent Secretary of State and is more often than not, politically motivated.

The Foundation is convinced that a co-constructed  approach to research, development and setting of education policy is pivotal to an education system’s progress over time and we need your support to help make a once in a lifetime change that will leave an enduring legacy for many generations to come. 

The Foundation for Education Development is a newly established body which has already carried out informal discussions with leading representatives across the sectors. We would like to engage in this vitally important non-political joint initiative which aims to create a neutral space where we can explore how we might create a better future for our country’s education system.

1st October 2019

AI & Healthcare

We explored the potential benefits of applying AI in healthcare, as well as the risks to be faced. AI, as you know has huge implications for medical practitioners and patients alike. It has, for example, the potential to offer innovative solutions to longstanding challenges faced by the NHS by empowering patients to take more responsibility for their own care, so reducing pressure on an overstretched health system.

However, its use also comes with great risks: protection of patient data and the inclusivity of healthcare are just two areas of concern. How can the NHS best weigh the benefits and risks to ensure that all patients have access to the best possible healthcare within a system they can trust? What are the systemic changes facing healthcare provision? What are the attitudinal shifts required by providers and users? During our twenty-four hours together, we will look at how best to harness the potential of AI in healthcare from these and other angles.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

Impacting Learning Outcomes Through Space Design
21st February 2019

Impacting Learning Outcomes Through Space Design: Methods for Now and the Future

In partnership with Herman Miller

Participants explored the notion that active learning spaces and respective pedagogies directly impact learning outcomes. These outcomes are typically considered in, for example, the areas of progress in student grades, user satisfaction, and sustainable design. Participants will however also investigate learning space design and its impact on student skills development, and how we can best evidence and present this at our organisations and universities.


Sustainable Development Goals
26th January 2018

Further and Higher Education and the Sustainable Development Goals

The seventeen SDGs present a novel framework for domestic and global pursuit of sustainability solutions. Our Further and Higher Education institutions have a key role to play in developing scholarship and skills to critically engage with the SDGs and the wider sustainability agenda.

A recent consultation examined how education in schools might consider the SDGs, but the tertiary sector presents additional complexities. Some universities and colleges already have initiatives addressing the SDGs, in research, teaching and operations; and students, policy makers and many academics have called for more sustainability in tertiary education. How might we deepen sustainability education in the tertiary sector? What role might the SDGs play? What might the outcomes be?

The full report from the consultation can be read here.

Sustainable Development Goals
1st December 2017

Young People and the Sustainable Development Goals

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are hugely important for the future wellbeing of all people, and for the integrity of the biosphere. It is clear that education has a key role to play, not only in helping people understand the significance of the goals, but also in helping to ensure that the goals, and their targets, are achieved.

We already know that a number of schools have programmes focusing on this, but if goal-related learning by students can help increase the likelihood that the goals will be valued, supported and hence realised, is it also the case that a critical study of the goals can enhance the focus, and help raise the quality of student learning? This Consultation examined these twin propositions. We looked in depth at what good goal-related outcomes might be; and explored what more can be done to embed a focus on the SDGs in work with young people both in and out of school.

To read the report from the Consultation please click here.

Digital technology’s role in enabling skills development
5th March 2017

Education: Digital technology’s role in enabling skills development for a connected world

The first consultation of four in the Corsham Institute 2017 Thought Leadership Programme in partnership with Rand Europe.

Digital technology is disrupting traditional models of education and skills attainment and is increasingly being used to deliver education, knowledge and skills in new and innovative ways. Coupled with future changes to the mode and pattern of work (as identified in our 2016 Thought Leadership programme), and the economic shock posed by the current political climate, there is a need to consider how digital technology can best support individuals to develop the skills needed to attain maximum benefit for both work and social uses.

This can also help to create societal norms when using digital technology and ensure appropriate behaviour online.

The overarching aim was to generate breakthrough thinking by using a mixture of robust debate, careful listening and a willingness to consider different perspectives.

The Consultation aimed to explore the following key questions and areas:

  • How can digital delivery channels help ensure equality of access and inclusivity to skills and education?
  • Can we define a new, more sustainable, model for delivery of education and skills in a more connected world?
  • In an increasingly digital world, how can an ageing population acquire the digital skills necessary to transact in a more connected society?
  • How do we build capacity within the education system to maximise the impact of digital technology?
  • Who should be involved in the design and delivery of digital skills and education?
  • What should be the role of digital technology in terms of supporting a new skills agenda for economic growth in the current climate?

The full report from the consultation can be read here. The 2017 Thought Leadership Programme key summary report can be read here.

freedom of expression
1st November 2016

Freedom of Expression and Universities

In partnership with the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS 

Universities are under increasing pressure from government to prevent students coming into contact with ‘extreme’ ideas. The thesis is that exposure to such ideas risks drawing students into terrorism. But there are other risks also, in particular the risk to freedom of speech and to academic freedom. 

Many university administrators appear to believe that in order to prevent potential terrorism, the law requires them to curtail the freedom of academic debate. Is this an accurate interpretation of the law or are universities actually in breach of the Education Act (1986) and the Human Rights Act (1998)? What are the overall implications for tertiary education in the UK? This consultation will looked in depth at the issues facing universities with regard to freedom of expression and the relationship with the state.

The full consultation report can be read here.

17th October 2016

Connecting Young People – Healing the Social Divides in Society

The UK and Europe are under a growing threat from, so called, ‘ISIS’ and other militant Islamist groups. This threat is one that needs to be challenged wherever possible. A key problem is that some young Muslim men and women are easy prey to radical influences through social media and peer influence.

Before young people are actively engaged in extremist activity there is a less clearly defined phase as young people search for identity and make sense of their world.

This, is not a purely Muslim problem. A crisis of identity is a fact of life for many young people, whatever their colour or ethnic background. They are influenced through peer conversations, as well as social media as they struggle to understand their sense of identity and their place in society. We are working to develop a programme that brings together groups of young people to meet, talk, work and play. By bringing young people together we hope to develop mutual understanding and breakdown the barriers of ‘them and us’ that currently gets in the way of genuine dialogue and developing a common cause.

This consultation aimed to share the experience and knowledge of interested parties in order to develop thinking about how we heal the divisions within UK society through our young people.

The full report can be read here.

Jubilee Centre Logo
9th September 2016

Role of Virtue in the Professions

In partnership with The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues 

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is a research centre based in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. It is a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre focusing on character, virtues and values in the interest of human flourishing. The Centre promotes a moral concept of character in order to explore the importance of virtue for public and professional life.

The Centre is a leading informant on policy and practice in this area and through its extensive range of projects contributes to a renewal of character virtues in both individuals and societies.

As part of its scope of work, the Centre has produced statements on different aspects of character education, including A Framework for Character Education in Schools, a Statement on Youth Social Action and Character Development, and a Statement on Teacher Education and Character Education. These have been circulated to policymakers, practitioners and academics across the UK, and have been met with widespread support and approval. With the Jubilee Centre’s continuing research focus on virtues in the professions, including the medical, legal, teaching, nursing, and business professions and the British Army, this Consultation  focused on the role of virtue in the professions, with the aim of producing a statement similar in format to those referred to above.

The statement will be available in due course.