To some ears, the word ‘character’ no doubt still evokes cold showers and a stiff upper lip. But these familiar associations are both too old-fashioned and not old-fashioned enough. Not old-fashioned enough because the proper development of character is at the centre of a line of ethical thought that goes back to Aristotle. Too old-fashioned, because character is becoming an increasingly prominent theme in public policy discussions—see for instance the work of the Studio Schools Trust on developing character capabilities or The Foundation Years, the report by Frank Field MP on parenting as an instrument for combating social deprivation (click here to hear Field discussing the study).
Questions of character
Yesterday’s launch of Labour’s justice strategy under Sadiq Khan extends the new...