Further 'character education' measures have been announced by the government with the aim of making England a global leader in the sector.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan has launched a new £3.5 million fund to aid the expansion of character-building programmes in schools that already offer such activities or to help set up new schemes.
The move comes shortly after funding of £5 million was granted to eight projects that are using the services of former armed forces personnel to encourage youngsters to succeed academically and instil values such as self-confidence, respect and leadership.
Ms Morgan said: "Excellent teachers already produce well-rounded pupils, and today’s news will give more schools the support, inspiration and resources to go even further.
"The move … will cement our position as a global leader in teaching character and resilience, and will send a clear signal that our young people are being better prepared than ever before to lead tomorrow's Britain."
Projects will be able to apply to the fund from early next year to expand their existing efforts or to set up new initiatives.
All approaches to character education will be considered, including those based both in and out of school. However, providers will have to give evidence that their schemes are effective, such as better grades, improved behaviour or better job prospects.
A further £1 million has also been announced to expand research into the most effective ways of teaching character.
The funding is to be matched by the Education Endowment Foundation, which will use school-based randomised control trials to test the work of non-profit character education projects.
Evidence from other countries, particularly the US, attests to the value of character-building programmes. The UK government's drive is aimed at expanding provision in this country and building a home-grown evidence base.
Character education forms a cornerstone of the government's plan for education, ensuring all youngsters leave schools with the skills required to succeed in modern Britain. The coalition believes creating a strong work ethic is essential for economic growth.
Posted by Theo Foulds