Skip to content ↓

North Herts
Education Support Centre

DfE Character Awards 2016

NHESC win the DfE Character Award 2016 for the East of England!

What a whirlwind of excitement: no sooner had we written our submission than there was a request for an assessor to visit, speak with staff, look around the building, collect more evidence and interview students!

One of the students when asked by the assessor what is different about NHESC’s football team, replied, ‘The NHESC football team pass the ball, we play as a team’.This quote symbolised our whole philosophy, the team work spirit that underpins the social emotional development of all our students. As head teacher I am so proud of the team of staff here, the students that work hard and commit to NHESC and then return frequently to tell us about their successful lives.

Department of Education’s Character education awards 2016  - North Herts Education Support Centre – regional winner for the East of England 2016.

Nine outstanding practitioners in character education, one from each of the English regions including one national winner, were celebrated on 1 July 2016 at a presentation that took place as part of the inaugural Association of Character Education (ACE) conference, held at the University of Birmingham School.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson announced the 2016 DfE Character Award winners at the event, held by ACE to support schools, teachers and other educationalists to develop traits like confidence, perseverance and resilience in young people; traits that support academic attainment, are valued by employers and enable young people to make a positive contribution to British society.

First introduced in 2015 by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, the awards celebrate excellence and diversity in this field, recognising that character is already being encouraged, nurtured and developed alongside academic rigour through a variety of programmes inside and outside schools across the country. The awards demonstrate that character education can be found within a school’s ethos, in the classroom and on the playground, as much as it can be found on the sports field and outside of school in the local community.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “I congratulate those organisations winning an award today for their efforts to support young people to develop the positive character traits that can make a difference to thousands of lives. We know that qualities such as self-control, confidence, perseverance and the ability to bounce back from adversity underpin future success and well-being. We want to ensure that all young people have opportunities to develop these traits, and as the awards show us today, this is something that the best already do”.

Charlotte Hill, Chair of the Character Awards judging panel and Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve, said: “The benefits of getting involved in character-building activities in and out of school extend well beyond the classroom. Taking part sets young people up to lead happy and successful lives at the same time and make a positive contribution to society”.

Danielle Brown, MBE, double Paralympic gold medalist and 3-time World Champion in archery, also on the Character Awards national judging panel commented: “Character has a big impact on success, from the classroom, the sports field or the workplace. In my career I’ve learned the value of determination, confidence and the ability to bounce back from setbacks. That is why I’m delighted that I was able to join the national panel to identify those schools and organisations that are leading the way to develop character traits in their pupils.”.

"This pupil referral unit in Hitchin serves pupils with social, emotional, and mental health problems. It provides tailored vocational learning and qualifications for each pupil, to build up a “toolbox of invaluable practical life skills”.

The unit organises visits to the local college and food bank to encourage pupils to develop courage and confidence to play a part in their communities."