The programme, which will be independently evaluated by Exeter University, will train staff in effective approaches to building character and developing resilience. There will also be a strong focus on raising aspiration, particularly in STEM careers. The aim is to ensure that all learners can access these opportunities, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who need more help developing their own emotional well-being and confidence. Student progress will be tracked and rewarded through a bespoke award scheme. The plan is to partner with local organisations and businesses, such as the Met Office and universities, and to work closely with the Jurassic Coast Teaching Schools Alliance.
Mr Duncan said, “This is fantastic news for Sidmouth College! It represents a significant injection of funding for the work of the consortium as well as national recognition for the hard work and collaboration that is already going on across the five secondary schools involved and the innovative ways we are supporting our young people. It will provide substantial funding to support our new Character project over the next 12 months, which we hope will benefit over 2,300 pupils. Our shared vision is to improve the educational opportunities for all our young people in order that they develop into outstanding learners with the character traits to become the leaders, scientists and engineers that the region and the UK needs.”