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'Building character important for pupils'

PUPILS should be made to coach young sports teams, teach pensioners to use a computer or give tours of local monuments to help build character and learn vital job skills, it has been suggested.

A think tank has called for traditional classroom-based coursework to be replaced with volunteering projects in local communities to teach youngsters "soft" skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication.

Teaching youngsters "character" is as important in helping young people to succeed in life as new computer skills like coding, according to Demos.

The proposal has been drawn up by the think tank following its report examining the skills and experience youngsters had gained from taking part in community activities with a Scout group.

Demos said it was calling for school coursework to be overhauled to encourage youngsters to learn outside of the classroom, replacing "desk-based" coursework with volunteering projects.

This could see young people researching and giving guided tours of historical monuments, coaching younger children in a sport or teaching pensioners IT skills, Demos argues.

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