As part of the national focus on character education, schools can now apply for a grant from the DfE Character Education grant fund. It aims to help schools support children in developing a set of character traits, attributes and behaviours that underpin success in education and work.

There is a total of £3.5 million to give away to worthy projects.

What can be funded?

Projects that support the development of the following character attributes will be considered:

  • perseverance, resilience and grit
  • confidence and optimism
  • motivation, drive and ambition
  • neighbourliness and community spirit
  • tolerance and respect
  • honesty, integrity and dignity
  • conscientiousness, curiosity and focus.

Proposals should develop new innovations or expand existing evidence-based practice in some, or all, of the areas below:

  • building a range of schools’ or colleges’ capacity to improve character education by developing the knowledge and skills of staff
  • trialling school- or college-based initiatives, for example:
    • classroom-based initiatives linked to school/college subjects
    • teaching and learning strategies
    • whole-school/-college practical approaches to ethos and discipline
    • bespoke activities with groups of pupils on character development
  • providing extra-curricular activities after school or college – this could include competitive sports, music, debating, outdoor activities or survival weekends
  • providing community volunteering activities/projects and work experience by making links with the local charities, employers and major industries
  • peer-to-peer support and mentoring through dialogue and role modelling with successful students or professionals in the community
  • developing a practical suite of tools and/or accessible educational materials and techniques that support schools in developing character
  • establishing effective ways to track the progress of pupils throughout their educational journey through to employment
  • establishing innovative ways to build character in children with high-risk factors, such as special educational needs or a disability, poor family functioning, maltreatment and poverty.

There is no pre-determined level of grant award, but as a guide, grant awards are expected to be in the region of £50,000 to £750,000.

Who can apply?

Applications are accepted from schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, voluntary and community groups and other profit or non-profit organisations.

Projects must take place in England.

How do I apply?

Organisations have until 6 February 2015 to submit a proposal for grant funding. Grants are expected to be awarded at the end of March.

More information can be found on the DfE website and through Contracts Finder.


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