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The choices an individual makes determines their future, and the purpose of developing good character is the ability to make good choices. Character allows us to flourish as individuals, and as a wider society. This is why the development of character, as well as achieving academic attainment, should be the purpose of education.
“Character becomes your destiny,”Lao Tzu, Philosopher

We don’t believe that there is a blueprint for how character education should be delivered. Character education should be shaped by the needs of the children and community it serves. But we do believe that for it to be truly transformative it should be planned, intentional and fully embedded across the whole-school or organisation. Only then can character be truly ‘taught,’ ‘caught,’and ‘sought.’

ACE is the UK’s largest character education-based community of practice. We recognise, share and enable outstanding practice in character education within our network. This involves harnessing the extensive expertise that exists within our community, so schools can learn from other schools, such as through our annual conference. We also provide you with direct support from the ACE team through CPD, the Quality Marks and 1-1 consultations.
ACE works closely with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtueto ensure our support to you is guided and shaped by the latest research in character education.

“We gained so much useful feedback and ideas for taking our character education model to the next level. The rigorous but extremely supportive and friendly approach of our assessors, challenged our thinking by asking key questions, gave us useful vindication of key parts of our journey as well as providing specific points to consider as we take the next steps.”

Gurdeep Singh, Assistant Headteacher, Aylesbury Grammar School

“The School of Character framework was absolutely vital in guiding our character education work. We used it as the basis of a two year plan when we began our journey, after two years we were able to gain the School of Character kitemark and character education is now firmly embedded within the academy.”

Dan Seed, Assistant Headteacher, Walthamstow Academy

“Our organisation has evolved through the kitemark process. We have felt inspired to grow the team, get clearer on our mission and aims as well as celebrate the character growth that occurs both internally and in the community of the spaces that we create.”

Zoe Stevens, Co-Founder, Spirit Forge

“I want it to be noted that that training was phenomenal. Gary was brilliant and his CPD session will undoubtedly have an extremely positive impact on staff and pupils going forward. I feel inspired!”

Amelia, Selly Park Girls School

“The feedback from Lancot staff has been endlessly positive – you’ve created quite a buzz! It was brilliant. Thank you very much. It’s a shame we couldn’t have had the two-hour version!”

Jenny, Headteacher, Challenger MAT

Join the ACE Community


Conferences & Webinars

Our conferences and webinars will bring you the country’s leading character education experts and practitioners.


The Kitemarks provide recognition and an invaluable reflective experience.


CPD Training

Our CPD is a distillation of world-leading research and outstanding practice from across the network and beyond.

1-1 Consultations

1-1 Consultations

Our 1-1 consultations enable you to speak with an expert within ACE specifically about your character programme.



Our expanding resources library provides you with content and videos, which inspire the right approach for your school or organisation.

Membership Pricing

  • Individual £50

  • Organisation (other than a school or college) £75

  • Small/Primary (up to 250 pupils) £50

  • Medium/High School (250 – 500 pupils) £100

  • Large School/College (500 + pupils ) £150

  • Trust 20% off if all Schools sign up

ACE membership runs annually from the date of joining.

Meet the Team

The support that ACE provides to its community is informed by leading pedagogy in Character Education and outstanding practice of what works. For this reason, ACE has an Executive Team that draws on some of the country’s leading academics and practitioners in the field of Character Education.

Gary Lewis
Gary LewisFormer Exec Headteacher and Honorary Research Fellow
Gary Lewis was Headteacher at Kings Langley School for 18 years and has been an Advisor to the Government on Character Education.
Dr. Tom Harrison
Dr. Tom HarrisonDirector of Education, Jubilee Centre
Tom Harrison is Director of Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and Programme Director for the MA in Character Education.
Tom Haigh
Tom HaighACE CEO
Tom Haigh has been responsible for leading the organisation since January 2020 into its new phase of growth and development.
Professor James Arthur
Professor James ArthurDirector of the Jubilee Centre
James Arthur OBE is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue. He is also Chair of the Society for Educational Studies.
Linda Sanders
Linda SandersHeadteacher
Linda Sanders is the Head of the Laurels School, a flagship school for Character Education in the UK, and she has devised and led its Arete Programme since its foundation.
Geoff Smith
Geoff SmithFormer Headteacher
Geoff Smith is a speaker, author and former headteacher whose passion is the development of healthy character in children and young people.
Daniel Wright
Daniel WrightHeadteacher
The London Oratory School. Daniel Wright was previously Deputy Headmaster of St George’s College and the Jubilee Centre’s first Teaching Fellow in 2014.
Kay Livingston
Kay LivingstonProfessor of Educational Research, Policy and Practice
Kay Livingston works nationally and internationally with policymakers, school leaders and teachers on educational change and was a trustee of Character Education Scotland.
Dr. Val Corry
Dr. Val CorryEducation Consultant and former Secondary Headteacher
Val Corry is an education consultant and researcher with the University of Glasgow. She was Headteacher of Balfron High School for 10 years, and worked as Professional Advisor for Scottish Government (Learning Directorate).


ACE’s mission is to support you on your journey to embed character and values across your school or organisation. Connecting you with some of the best thought leadership and outstanding practice in character education is central to this, and it is this ethos that shapes our events.

2022 ACE Annual Conference
Thursday 24th November, Kings High School, Warwick


ACE awards four kitemarks which provide recognition for outstanding character education delivered by schools, colleges and organisations.

The awards recognise character education that is delivered in an explicit, planned and reflective manner- to enable the cultivation of positive character qualities in the interests of human flourishing.

The experience of undertaking the kitemark is designed to enable schools and organisations to further evolve their character provision. A report detailing strengths and recommendations is provided by the Kitemark Assessors, which is followed with a plaque and digital kitemark logo.

There are two levels to the School of Character Award:

  1. School of Character Kitemark
  2. School of Character Kitemark Plus

Continuous Professional Development and Leadership Support

ACE aims to provide direct practical support and to build capacity within schools to enable them to embed character education across their whole community. Schools of Character report better behaviour, better attitudes to learning and higher levels of staff satisfaction and wellbeing.

CPD Training

Schools of Character are places where teachers and pupils flourish together. Our training package has evolved from world class research and the distillation of “best practice” derived from leading schools of character in the UK. Similarly, the Association is able to provide direct practical support to senior leaders in schools to enable them to compile a co-ordinated and context appropriate character programme suited to their school community.

ACE is now able to offer schools direct support on developing a whole-school character education plan, built around character ‘taught’ ‘caught’ and ‘sought.’ Please enquire if this is something you are interested in.

1-1 Consultations

At ACE we recognise that each school develops its approach to character to fit the context of their community and their pupils. There is no blueprint for character education and there is no one size fits all. ACE also recognises that for some schools character and values is a part of their DNA, while for others they are just at the start of their journey to become a School of Character. Whatever your context and wherever your school or organisation is at, ACE can provide tailored support and guidance.


Resource Visual Characteristic

Sharing outstanding practice from schools awarded the School of Character Kitemark and Kitemark Plus is central to ACE’s ethos. Our resources section provides members with plans, curriculum, resources and videos from Kitemark Schools.