How can we best help our children grow up into responsible, compassionate, moral citizens? Experts at the University of Birmingham are helping to set the national agenda for developing character and virtue in society.

Birmingham Heroes: Tom Harrison

Virtuous individuals

Moral virtues are stable character traits that enable us to respond appropriately to situations in all areas of life. These qualities enable us to live, co-operate and learn with others in a way that is peaceful, neighbourly and morally justifiable, promoting a flourishing and meaningful existence.

Our Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is a pioneering research centre that promotes a moral concept of character in order to explore the importance of virtue for public and professional life. The work done by our acclaimed researchers helps to inform and influence politicians, policymakers and educationalists.

They have also developed a bespoke programme of character education for the University of Birmingham School, the first of its kind in the UK, which opened on the University’s Selly Oak campus in September 2015. The programme underpins the School’s curriculum with an ethos and focus on character education and enrichment, equipping pupils with the experience and skills needed to make wise choices for a happy and fulfilled life.

Flourishing existence

Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor James Arthur is a passionate promoter and developer of character education. He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education. He directed the Learning for Life project (2005-2010), then the largest UK-based study into issues surrounding character development, before establishing the Jubilee Centre in 2012.

Professor James Arthur

Director of the Jubilee Centre

“Our vision for the Centre is not simply to research past and present attitudes to character and virtues, but shape the future attitudes and behaviours of the British people. We aim to enable British people to explore their character and virtues and, if and where required, transform them.”

Professor James Arthur

Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Staffing. Former Head of School of Education, Governor of University of Birmingham School

Resources for teachers and education stakeholders

Online learning

The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues

A Question Of Character

Learn about our other Birmingham Heroes ➤