We cannot force aspiration onto students. This year in SecEd, Matt Bawden will be looking at how we can encourage aspiration naturally, and the role that character education can play

Aspiration needs to come from within. This means it needs to be real and authentic.

We, as teachers, can help children to discover aspiration. We can even nudge them in a particular direction. What we cannot do, or it will be an endless struggle if we try, is to force aspiration on someone.

Creating a sense of value, in all stakeholders, enables an atmosphere of drive and purpose – and this can be the underpinning of aspiration for those in danger of requiring early intervention.

Yet, too often we miss the opportunity, or it is grasped by those children more ready for it and the others (usually the more vulnerable) are left behind.

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