Coaching & Leadership Development
June 10, 2017

Why Education Needs Values & Integrity more than Ever – Neil Hawkes

Why Education Needs Values & Integrity more than Ever – Neil Hawkes


With many other people I am deeply concerned about the global turmoil that is destabilising our world. As someone I met recently in the US put it, ‘It seems as though human kind is going mad!”


We seem to be acting like lemmings about to rush over a cliff to our deaths. At a political, cultural and social level distress is clearly identifiable as the good of humanity and the world is set aside.


I notice that the level of unrest is increasing, as people feel that they do not have a voice that can be heard. Whether it is a presidential election or a referendum people of all persuasions seem discontent and have a tendency to vote from that basis.


My observation is that when individuals feel a sustained awareness of peacelessness, then this is translated into their behaviour, leading to the polarisation of political, religious, cultural and social identity.


The media is now often consumed with life-limiting messages, which encourage fear and distrust. Humanity is calling out for positive, altruistic leadership. However, where can this be found?


Although the problems seem intractable, I believe there is hope.  Many people seem to be waking up and saying, ‘enough is enough’.


To tackle this, we need schools that seek to enable children to have a moral compass based on positive human values that can form the foundations for transformational change.  We need to encourage adults and children alike to have a meaning and purpose in their lives, acting with integrity.


I have seen over the last few years how Values-based education encourages the development of self-leadership in adults and children – so I know what a difference it can make. Such dynamic, soul-led leadership looks to fill our existential vacuum with meaning and purpose driven by integrity, sourced from positive human values.


That’s why on the 19th October, I spoke at Integrity Coaching’s “Education for the Soul” Conference in London to share more about why values can transform the reality in our schools.


In my talk on “The Inner Curriculum”, I aimed to inspire the audience to adopt some of the tenets and principles of values-based education (VbE) as the template for encouraging outstanding leadership in their schools.


In doing so, I tried to raise spirits and create a picture of hope for educators and leaders that could lead to a brighter, alternative vision for the future of our schools.



On the 19th October 2017, Neil Hawkes joined us as we hosted Headteachers & School Leaders from across the country for this new type of School Leadership conference; this “Education for the Soul” Conference designed to help leaders to explore and discuss what matters most to them (their values, hopes and passion) and locate ways of leading that are aligned to themselves and their hope for their schools.


It is fair to say, the day was a very special one indeed, and for me personally, it was deeply humbling to see so many school leaders and education professionals who were prepared to:


– Take a risk

– Ask of themselves challenging questions

– Think about school leadership differently

– Go on a deeper learning journey with themselves and others


It was so wonderful to watch these individuals drop their leadership masks and come together, in service of one another and in service of shared hopes, dreams and ambitions for our children and our schools.


As a result, the conference became a place where discussions about the relationship between well-being and school leadership could be discussed openly and candidly, and real solutions could be found.


Above all, the day confirmed to me three vital key lessons that I’ve learnt from my time working with School Leaders….


What were these three Lessons?

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