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.
Headmaster, Rugby School, Warwickshire