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Ethical Intelligence


Aureus Secondary School's Inner Curriculum Suite, Oxfordshire

Values-based Education is a transformational approach to teaching and learning that works with positive human values chosen by the school’s community. It creates an ethos that enhances academic attainment, and develops pupils’ social and relational skills that last throughout their lives.

A calm, happy and purposeful learning environment is achieved by values being consciously modelled by all teaching and support staff throughout the school. It liberates teachers and students from the stress of confrontational relationships, which frees up substantial teaching and learning time.


I have found that schools that are explicitly values-based, such as Aureus Secondary School in Didcot, Oxfordshire (photo above), develop what I have termed ethical intelligence (EI). Ethical intelligence is the ability to ethically self-regulate your behaviour.  This transformative dimension is a person’s capacity to be self-led, acting appropriately by making wise choices, when meeting the daily multidimensional challenges, which are experienced in our complex world. This overarching personal competence cannot be measured, as can technical competencies (e.g. numeracy and literacy), but is demonstrated by people's ability to be authentic, able to problem solve in complex situations in the real world. People with EI tend to live their lives by behaving from an ethical code of conduct based on human values such as respect, integrity, compassion and trust. Values-based schools develop this vital 21st century competence, which is so necessary for effective learning; forming positive relationships; personal well being and resilience.

VbE schools are nurturing ethical intelligence so that future leaders, at all levels of society, will be seen to have this vital competence and model ethical leadership.

For more information about how to develop ethical intelligence read:

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