Yesterday I attended the uplifting second anniversary of #iWill – the campaign to get 60% of young people engaging in meaningful social action in their communities by 2020.
The campaign’s patron Prince Charles made an impassioned call for more people to join in the action – and along with all speakers reinforced the value of engaging young people when at school.
Even a Minister from the DfE turned up (for the first time) and told us why that department considers youth social action to be important – albeit in developing character and not, for instance, knowledge, skills and competences – as one might expect from an educationalist.
But the stand-out figure for me was from new research that indicates that 46% of young people committed to active participation in their communities started when they were 10 or 11: at Primary school.
This is great news for our own Go-Givers programme –which is highly popular in Primary schools and unrivalled in its ability to kick-start a school’s activities – offering a fantastic array of resources and activities alongside training that is second to none.
Go-Givers has also be been through rigorous testing to show that it now only develops knowledge, skills and competences, but also ‘character’, in the terms that the DfE is keen to champion. Last year the Cabinet Office paid for a randomised control trial that showed Go-Givers’ efficacy in this respect: it helps to develop empathy and community spirit alongside giving pupils the skills to take action based on these dispositions.
Our secondary school equivalent, Giving Nation is also available as a tremendous resource for schools looking to develop their programme of social action.
So if you’re looking for a way to propel your school into the #iWill era, start here!