Premiership Rugby has today welcomed Secretary of State Nicky Morgan’s continued commitment to teaching character in schools, which also underlined the role sport can play in preparing young people for working life in modern Britain.
The Education Secretary outlined the importance of character education in a speech at Character Matters Symposium, attended by Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson MP and Premiership Rugby.
Premiership Rugby's On the Front Foot, programme funded by Department for Education, is an innovative education programme for 11-18 year olds which uses rugby's core values to develop positive character traits through rugby themed classroom and practical activities.
Wayne Morris, Director of Community and Corporate Social Responsibility at Premiership Rugby said: "We are delighted with the Government's pledge for greater focus on character education. The speech by the Secretary of State really illustrates that character education is imperative for ensuring children get on and succeed in life and sport is a fantastic vehicle for making that happen."
"Through our network of professional clubs and the support of teachers right across the country, On the Front Foot is increasing the resilience, focus and confidence of over 10,000 year 6 pupils this year and enhancing the discipline, confidence and aspiration of nearly 7,000 of secondary school students. This is only made possible through harnessing the core values of rugby to instil character, both on and off the pitch. These character traits, attributes and behaviours underpin success in education and work"
Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education, today visited year 6 pupils from Perrywood Primary School who have participated in Premiership Rugby's programme at Sixways Stadium in Worcester, home of Premiership Rugby club Worcester Warriors.
"As a Worcester Warriors fanatic, it's a joy to learn more about this great club's commitment to the community. I know that the Warriors have rightly won awards for their community work before and I have no doubt they will again," he said
"These young children now epitomise what rugby is all about. Premiership Rugby's On the Front Foot Programme teaches children how to respect others and how to work in a team – these are just a couple of traits these children will carry with them all the way through to adulthood."
"By investing in On the Front Foot, the Department for Education is using rugby as a vehicle for developing good character in the early stages of education right across England. I'm delighted to hear today that the programme has reached so many secondary schools across the country and over 10,000 year 6 pupils in its first year alone, such as those from Perrywood Primary School in my constituency.
"The platform this Government-funded scheme has provided is a great example of how the core values of a sport like rugby can lend itself to delivering real social change both to young lives and the wider community."