YP Letters: Welcome words on what makes an education

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. (PA).
Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. (PA).
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From: John G Davies, East Morton, Keighley.

It’s a miracle! A Conservative politician has seen the light. Nicky Morgan is clearly moving in an interesting direction when she says: “A rich education full of character development is not an alternative to an academic, knowledge-rich education. They are two sides of the same coin and both are necessary to prepare our young people for success and stability”.

Her article seems to imply that “character development” should be a school-based project. Back in the much-derided “progressive Seventies”, children in West Riding secondary schools were involved in outdoor activities. Each school had an Outdoor Activity Officer who coordinated curricular and extracurricular activities.

Year 9 students spent a week under canvas. At Nab Wood Grammar School we spent time at Coniston and were involved in canoeing and other water activities, hill walking and rock climbing. We also had a weekend at Kettlewell Youth Hostel with similar activities.

These provided an excellent situation for “character development”, plus an environmental education and the development of important skills such as first aid and map reading in a practical situation. For “inner city” kids these trips were eye-opening experiences.