A letter from Dr Neil Hawkes, founder of the International Values-based Education Trust (IVET) to Nicky Morgan
Congratulations Nicky Morgan on your reappointment as Secretary of State for Education. Your party's mandate gives you a real life-changing opportunity to affect our nation's long-term prosperity and the well-being of its people. You have so many challenging choices and no doubt an array of advisers and lobbyists who vie with each other to influence the crucial decisions you will make.
As the founder of a charitable trust (IVET), without any political aspirations or links, may I be permitted to offer a few observations and suggestions, which I hope will help you establish a truly transformational agenda. One that transcends sectional interests; based on the principle of encouraging the nurturing of the quality of wisdom in the British people. Wisdom at the heart of Education will naturally lead to balancing the academic, personal,social and creative aspects of the curriculum, which are currently imbalanced. It will also add profoundly to the mental well being of all. How can you achieve this?
1. You will establish a sustainable economic and social future if the Government truly enables the release of the creative dynamic of every adult and child in the UK. Every skill, ability, disposition and talent will be nurtured; the curriculum framed appropriately. This powerful, currently untapped, energy would be based on the altruistic principles of fairness, equality and service to others, will unite the diverse people of our nation.
2. Altruism is enabled when inner human needs are adequately met. This happens when our life-force is focussed on developing our innate virtues and positive character traits, rather than implicitly encouraging life-limiting, selfish aspects of our human nature.
3. Our Education system is potentially the best in the world. You could achieve this aspiration by requiring the outcome of the curriculum of schools, colleges and universities to be focussed on the development of personal wisdom, the outcome of a deeper and more expansive nurturing of students' social competence. Wise people, understand themselves and live their lives with compassion and love for others. They act for the well being of themselves, others and society. Let us have an educational vision based on what each person is capable of becoming rather than a narrow set of expectations that limit human potential and create human waste and poor economic performance.
A government and education system that embraces these simple yet profound principles will create a new powerful narrative, which will underpin our nation and give you, as Secretary of State for Education, the opportunity to transform society for the benefit of all UK citizens and beyond.