Since Nicky Morgan became Education Secretary in July 2014, character education – that which develops capabilities like resilience and empathy – has shot up the agenda. This reflects concerns – from practitioners and employers – that the practice of education has become overly reductive, training students to pass exams but not adequately preparing them for the bigger tests that they will face in life. Simultaneously, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that participation in non-formal learning activities – such as sport, drama and debating, primarily delivered outside the classroom – can help to develop these character attributes.