With the release of this newsletter, we would like to announce that the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values will be known moving forward as the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. The change has already been made to our logo, and changes to our website and other branding and marketing materials and resources will commence over the coming weeks and months.
One of the fundamental aims of the work of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values is to retrieve and recover the language of virtue in U.K. society – in schools, among politicians, policy-makers, the media and the general public. In our survey among teachers in primary and secondary schools, over 50% of teachers said they found the word ‘virtue’ old-fashioned, whereas no such reservations were registered concerning the word ‘character’. We are pleased that in the last few months, since this survey was conducted, a sea change has been taking place in U.K. media discourse, especially in light of the cross-party consensus that seems to be emerging regarding the importance of character virtues for successful schooling. Suddenly, ‘virtue’ is becoming a buzzword on everyone’s lips. We think that some of this sea change can – justly and not immodestly – be ascribed to the efforts of the Centre, as politicians on both sides of the political spectrum continue to cite our work in their speeches on character cultivation. As the work of the Centre progresses, much more reconstructive work – conceptual, moral and political – needs to be done to give ‘virtue’ the pride of place in political and public discourse that it once occupied. What we have achieved so far, however, makes us optimistic that a totally new conceptual landscape concerning ‘character’ and ‘virtue’ can be carved out in the future, and one of our aims is to do precisely this.
When the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values was established, the term ‘Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues’ might have alienated some of those individuals and organisations that we were most concerned about being able to approach and influence. With the above-mentioned sea change in mind, we will now relaunch the Centre’s platform by dropping the bloated word ‘value’ for the content-rich term ‘virtue’.