Peter Green letter to the Independent: We have to teach good character by example

The Independent, 11/04/15, HMC member Peter Green, headmaster of Rugby School writes: we have to teach good character by example.

Hilary Wilce is right to be concerned that “grit” might be this year’s fashionable education accessory. Thomas Arnold, Rugby School’s greatest headmaster, held three basic tenets for education: religious and moral principles, academic ability, and gentlemanly conduct.

Encouraging “gentlemanly conduct” is our way of “teaching character”. It may sound old-fashioned (and, by the way, we’ve been taking girls for 40 years) and, more than 200 years later, it cannot be regarded as a fad.

Grit is certainly in the mix, but so are compassion and tolerance. Allowing the whole person to flourish is the whole point of Rugby.

Peter Green
Headmaster, Rugby School, Warwickshire