Schools failing to instil moral values in their pupils

BRITAIN risks turning out a generation of amoral children as schools struggle to find the time to teach the difference between right and wrong, according to a survey published yesterday.

One in three of the 2000 state school head teachers polled said schools were not doing enough to develop the morals of their students and one in five said they were doing too little to help pupils understand the difference between right and wrong.

One head commented: “We train children to be successful, ruthless, greedy and selfish; our virtues are money, fame and looks. We do not reward kindness, do not value loyalty, do not care about courage.

The survey coincides with a growing movement in the United States to try to develop children’s good character, including traits such as resilience, self-control and empathy.

Research has showed that lack of such characteristics is hampering youngsters later in life.

Some schools in the US use character report cards on which pupils are scored every year. Others train their teachers to be moral role models.

By contrast, a quarter of the head teachers polled last week said schools in England were failing to develop sound values in students and more than 40 per cent felt schools were doing too little to develop  the whole child, particularly since the decline of religious assemblies and competitive sports.

Many added that when they did try, parents foiled their efforts.,

One head teacher said: “When trying to instil moral values, parents can be undermining.”

Another said: “”Many children seem to have not been taught manners at home.”

According to Anthony Seldon, headmaster of Wellington College in Berkshire, who organised the survey, “schools should consciously and deliberately be setting out to develop good character, good virtues, and good morals but not enough time is being given to doing this.”

Source: Sunday Times

Published in The Dominion Post, Monday, June 10, 2013. B2.

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