'Character education'

Hi all,

I’m interested to hear that Ofsted now look at character education (since 2019 but I’m neither a teacher nor have school age kids so stumbled on it by chance).

This looks at:

A. What kind of school
are we?
B. What are our
expectations of
behaviour towards
each other?
C. How do our curriculum
and teaching develop
resilience and
D. How good is our co-
curricular provision?
E. How well do we
promote the value of
volunteering and
service to others?
F. How do we ensure
that all our pupils
benefit equally from
what we offer?

I know as sqns we don’t fall into schools but I’m just interested if there is any learning we can take from some of this.

For example, for values, at my Sqn, we typically go through what RISE is but not much more. I think there is more that could be done in this area but not sure how to go about it.

I guess a lot of our activities naturally build resilience and confidence too but is this something we should be focusing on more in the design/planning of our activities (or just be happy if its a by-product).


We should be teaching more of the personal skills that will set them up for life I also think we should teach management skills as part of the leadership syllabus (from silver upwards) as it goes hand in hand with leadership but is more the practical application of it


What sorts of things? Can always teach at a sqn level I suppose.

Agree but how to we determine whether staff are adequately trained to do this?

A lot of managers in every day life are unfortunately below standard. I think it should be standardised too.

Also agree, mngt is very broad!

I think this fits quite well into the “qualities of citizenship” part of the aims. Pushing cadets to improve themselves will build resilience and much of what we do (presentations, leadership, teamworking, meeting new people) will build their confidence. We probably already do this quite well but don’t realise.

Such as?
I think if you asked 100 people this question you’d get lots of different responses although I imagine some commonalities. Things like teamwork, resilience, confidence, integrity.

For me, I think the principles of public life/Nolan principles (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life) are important and something that should be covered as well as RISE.

I agree we should be doing more in this area. Ultimately teaching them about air frames or whatever is all well and good but it doesn’t feed into all the aims of the org to develop life long skills etc. (Obviously unless they are going into a role where that matters/general interest aside).

With regards to the leadership/management, I think it would be really interesting to see what is covered at GCSE/Alevel business studies (assumed I’ve never studied this so guessing what it entails) and other relevant qualifications to make sure we are teaching consistent things. Confusing for kid’s if we are saying one thing and schools another. Obviously that requires work and someone to have an interest and knowledge in both.

To be fair could do the above with things like physics too.
I guess by being aware of what some cadets are learning in school we can use this to our advantage but that’s a huge undertaking.

Personally I would very much like to see us ditch a lot of the academic type training and replace with more of the leadership, communication, personal development, voluntary and adventure type activities we do.

I have always been against the push for more academic work, since I joined in 1999 I have seen far too much of the organisation becoming more like a school.

Schools are there for academia, granted some better than others, but none in my opinion none can match us for non academic development we offer young people. That is what I feel we should be focusing our efforts on, not Ultilearn exams which look good for Ofsted.


I’m in complete agreement! I’m probably biased though as I’m not very scientific so I personally don’t understand/care for the master/senior syllabus and neither do a lot of our cadets. Of course for those who do I think some of it should be offered, maybe some form of extra curricular training we can point them in the direction of or do it on a wing/region/area basis.

I don’t think the exams are very good either (I created multiple choice exams for a living in a past life) but that’s another story.

This, a thousand times


@alexw gets Batfink’s Post of the day.

This 1000 times over.


But then they’d turn into the CCF…

Agreed - although a lot of the core stuff is life skills, like turning up on time, turning yourself out smart, and doing what you are told. These are very employable.

But we teach leadership very much as a party trick, rather than looking at leadership by example, etc.

Thank you one and all lol :wink:

In all seriousness though, when I look back now at my Cadet career, wonderful that I know what an oleo nitrogen reservoir is, the difference between air supremacy and air superiority, and some various bits about radio wave propagation, but has it really benefitted me now, or when I was Cadet age?

All the other non academic stuff. Massively. And in my work now I’m lucky that we get to train young people from age 18 up, and in an environment similar to the military, and the ex Cadets of all flavour are instantly noticable by the attitude, outlook and approach.


100% agree.
But its needs to be fully funded, supported, admin reduced and given all effort to enable not hinder.

1 Like

I think staff need to be better developed/supported too though in these areas to ensure they can effectively impart this knowledge/skills.

1 Like

Quite a lot of my cadet career helped me
Get into technical college, apply for the services and my social circle is with people I was a cadet with.

Management is good but how and who can deliver it. Will this be another HQAC course for all staff to go on.

I think some sort of base level is needed but I’m not sure if HQAC themselves are best placed to do this. Maybe an outside org but that costs. I also wouldn’t want it to be one of those courses people hate or don’t engage properly with.

Maybe the strategic review will help (maybe the reviewers are even reading this - hello!)

You’ll get some people saying things like ‘ive managed people for years’ but actually they might be a rubbish manager but it might be difficult to engage and retrain this group! This also makes a training needs analysis hard.

They’d need to learn basic management themselves first



Shooting, flying & gliding please!


I certainly wouldn’t want to bin these! I wasn’t suggesting we build some sort of teen management school!

You can argue they build life skills too. For example, resilience if your shooting is a bit dodgy at first you can get better, concentration, attention to detail etc.

Flying multi tasking? Gliding I’ve never been so can’t say!

But for me these are extra benefits, in addition to the fun and sense of achievement elements!