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Leading Character Education in Schools: Case Study Report

This document presents case studies of five schools who are all past winners of the Department for Education’s (DfE) Character Award – an award scheme designed to act as ‘a gold standard as to what works in character education’ (Morgan, 2016). Commissioned by the Association for School and College Leaders (ASCL) and Pearson, and undertaken by a team from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), the case studies form part of a suite of outputs which include a bibliography of recent research, reports and resources about character education and an emerging practice guide which draws out the key principles of effective practice in the leadership of character education in schools. The research project aimed to address a gap we identified in the evidence base relating to the leadership and management of character education in schools. As a small-scale qualitative study, it was designed to provide the school sector with practical insights and illustrations rather than robust systematic evidence of the impact of different approaches to leading character education. We hope that by presenting the experiences of recognised leaders in the field of character education, other teachers and school leaders will find ideas and inspiration for developing their own approaches.