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Outstanding Schools: OFSTED, School Improvement and Character Education Conference

The University of Birmingham and The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues invite NST to speak at the Outstanding Schools: OFSTED, School Improvement and Character Education Conference on Friday 3rd March 2023

On the 3rd March 2023, Debbie Westwood, Director of Primary Education and Principal, at Nishkam Schools Trust was delighted to be invited to be on the School Leadership panel as part of an outstanding schools conference hosted by the University of Birmingham and the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. The panel was chaired by the Rt. Hon. Baroness Nicky Morgan and each panellist were asked to give a short presentation on their approach to character or virtues-led education. Debbie was able to share the Nishkam vision with approximately 160 other school leaders in the room with practical examples that encompassed the two vital components of the NST approach, namely The Language of Virtues document and the Nishkam Passport.

Colleagues in the room then had an opportunity to ask questions to the panel and Debbie was able to elaborate further on the impact the NST vision and virtues-led, holistic approach has had on the exceptional outcomes achieved across all schools in the Trust over several years. She was able to explain this was due to the curriculum narrative being built around the golden threads through an understanding of what we learn about collaboration, peace, forgiveness and love through each subject and unit of work. She also reiterated how the role modelling and use of the language of virtues is a key component in securing achievement and in helping NST schools develop successful but also confident global citizens.

Professor Tom Harrison, (Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues), who organised and opened the conference said’ Schools are rated outstanding if the way they go about ‘developing pupils’ character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others’ (OFSTED Guidance – updated July 2022 School Inspection Handbook) His feedback  was therefore very well-received when he expressed his gratitude saying ‘ Your contribution really helped to cement the message that character matters for human flourishing. Thanks also for sharing so many useful and practical examples.’