The keynote speaker was Professor Mark Pike, Head of the School of Education at the University of Leeds.

Professor Pike spoke about the crucial importance of character education for children, drawing on the work of C.S. Lewis.

“We want to change children for the better. The issue is not whether teachers influence children, but how. While a school needs to have clear rules and established sanctions, if its rules are contravened this needs to be augmented by attention to the need for the student to develop good character.”

“The problem with seeing children and young people as ‘products’ of their environment is that their human capacity to choose well, act with integrity and develop good character is militated against.”