Yesterday the school hosted its first Character Education Conference and it was inspiring.

The 2018 conference – a collaboration between Townley Grammar School, Canterbury Christ Church University, and the Association for Character Education – provided an exciting opportunity to discuss the principles and benefits of character education. Keynote speakers shared their expertise so that schools can begin laying their own frameworks, or indeed build on existing frameworks, for character education provision.

Speakers ranged from teaching professionals, academics, head teachers to young people.  Describing and giving solid evidence at how emotional wellbeing is intrinsically linked to good academic outcomes.


“Hi Hannah,  Just wanted to say I feel really privileged to be at the conference today and you know when you've been to a successful conference, film, play etc as it stays with you..... Very powerful!.” Conference Delegate

“I just wanted to drop you a brief note to say how impressed I was with the Conference today. I thought all speakers were insightful, interesting and inspiring in their own different way.” Conference Delegate


"The Character Education conference illustrated the leading edge expertise Townley Grammar School possesses within this field. It was a fantastic event that enabled educators, students and policy makers to collaborate and share exceptional practice. Character education is an enabler, it enables students, staff and schools to reach new heights and positively change. I am very proud to have spoken at the conference and represent Townley Grammar School".  Fabian de Fabiani, Director of Character Education and Well Being, Townley Grammar School



Read more about our speakers here.


Andrew is Professor of Civic and Moral Education in the Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University. His research focuses on citizenship and character education, and his most recent book is Compassion and Education: Cultivating Compassionate Children, Schools and Communities.

Adrian Bethune

Adrian – Founder, TeacHappy,  is a primary school teacher who has been teaching happiness and wellbeing to primary school children and teachers since 2010. He believes that happiness and wellbeing should be at the heart of education and his speech gave some very easy ideas of the tools to put wellbeing into practice in everyday classroom activities. Such as asking students to create a collage of their values of what makes a great team, the What Went Well board. This speech was consolidated by the range of research and evidence that he has looked into from neuroscience in education to emotional health.  The outcome being that wellbeing and good academic outcomes are intrinsically linked.

Chloe Matthews

Chloe’s speech about her own personal challenges gave the audience some emotive moments.  Chloe is an A Level student at Townley Grammar school who has demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. Chloe took part in the First Give programme and has since become a role model at Townley through the work she has done for Shine Cancer Charity. Chloe has already spoken at City Hall about her journey and her involvement with Shine and was the winner of 2017 Princess Diana Award and First Give Alumnus of the Year Award.

YOUTH AMBASSADOR #stepuptoserve

The #iwill campaign promotes social action among 10-20 year-olds and includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which benefit communities and young people. Chloe Donovan is a Trustee/Board member of Step Up To Serve, a charity that focuses on youth empowerment and social action.


Gary is the Chair of the Association for Character Education (The Character Education Subject

Association). He is also Head teacher at Kings Langley Secondary School in Hertfordshire. In 2002 the school was categorised as being in the bottom 2% nationally so Gary developed a long term strategy for the school’s recovery that was entirely focused on developing “strong character” in both students and teaching staff. Recently, Ofsted stated that the “outstanding” attitudes and "behaviour of the students” were attributable to the school’s complete immersion in reinforcing character, resilience and moral virtue in all aspects of the school’s work and curriculum.


Fabian is the Director of Character Education and Wellbeing at Townley Grammar School and has spent his professional teaching career focusing on enhancing the opportunities and life chances of students through the power of character education. Fabian is a Character Education Coach and Keynote speaker for schools and national educational conferences. He was highly Commended by the DfE at the 2016 Character Awards.

 Thank you

A huge thank you goes to all our speakers for making this event so powerful and motivating.  Thank you to Hannah Mitchem, Assistant Headteacher for organising the conference as well as a big thank you to all the staff at Townley Grammar School involved in supporting the event.




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