The wider education context
Children’s University is a programme that benefits children, schools and partner organisations in so many ways. It positively relates to many important topics currently on the national education agenda.
Ofsted and Character Education
Within the new Ofsted framework, inspectors will make a judgement on a school’s commitment to personal development and character education. Schools that are part of Children’s University will be able to demonstrate this.
In November 2019, the Department for Education (DfE) issued non-statutory guidance for schools containing 6 benchmarks for good character education. The DfE's guidance can be found here and Children's University's notes on the benchmarks can be found here.
A 2017 evaluation by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) shows a direct link between participation in Children’s University and increased attainment in reading and maths. Children in Children’s University schools made two additional months’ progress in reading and maths compared to children in the other schools.
Widening Participation and access to Further and Higher Education
Children’s University is delivered by many FE and HE Widening Participation teams. The programme won the 2017 NEON Widening Access Initiative Award.
Essential life skills
Children’s University is a proud member of the Skills Builder partnership, committed to supporting essential skills development. All activities validated through Children’s University are linked to the Skills Builder framework so that children, parents and schools can reflect and build upon the skills being developed through participation.
Schools that are part of Children’s University can monitor the number of encounters their pupils have with employers and FE/HE environments in line with the Gatsby Benchmarks.