Confidence – is it time to embed self-skill development in the curriculum?

Is confidence important? 

I think so because self-awareness, self-confidence, self-belief, and self-esteem (self-skills, as I like to call them) are vital for success and happiness. They may even be as important as numeracy and literacy!

One testament to the importance of developing these qualities comes from employers. 

  • They often cite enthusiasm, confidence, and a positive mental attitude as vital characteristics they look for when considering prospective staff.

Another comes from research by the University of London (UCL), which reports that “self-efficacy is related to several adult outcomes, including mental distress, self-rated health, obesity, and unemployment. 

The literature also shows that self-esteem in childhood is associated with mental and physical health in adult life.


  • In other words, higher self-esteem in childhood is related to improved health and happiness in adulthood!
The word strength indicating how confidence makes people feel stronger

Confidence & self-belief are key self-skills!

It seems to me that teaching self-skills to every child is a no-brainer!

  • The outcome will be more confident children with less anxieties and worries carried into adulthood.

While school staff understand the value of supporting growth in pupils’ confidence and self-worth, they cannot give it the credence it deserves because the curriculum is already crowded, and pressures to achieve exam pass rates take precedence. 

However, without dedicated curriculum time, self-skill development will continue to be considered secondary compared to mainstream subjects, such as physics.

On the other hand, we cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand and do nothing. We cannot neglect the signs any longer. 

  • We must act now because we are losing an increasing number of young people every year to underachievement, a life of crime, or the scrap heap.

Therefore, it is vital to open the conversation with policymakers to embed self-skill teaching in the curriculum and start helping every child develop their confidence and self-esteem and improve their life prospects.

Meeting with policy makers about confidence

The result of this educational gap.

New EHCPs (Education Health Care Plans) are increasing and SEN registers are expanding.

A study by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies has concluded that instances of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression amongst children are at their highest levels in a decade.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

The vast majority of young people today are not fortunate enough to learn how to build their confidence and change their beliefs, behaviour, and life prospects.

Therefore, many children are not as well equipped to achieve their dreams as they could be. 

River running between mountains indicating the gap in education

What is the effect of building confidence & self-esteem?

I realise I am describing what some people may view as an educational revolution, an extremely difficult task. However, we must change because the outcome will be future generations of young people who feel stronger within themselves.

The impact on society at large will be far-reaching!

If my thoughts resonate please connect, we can achieve more together!

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Helping Children Flourish

Gav Devereux

Author bio

Being diagnosed with dyslexia, labelled remedial, and regularly told that I was a “stupid boy” affected my self-esteem.

Worse still, I carried low self-worth into my adult life. Yet, later, when I learned how to challenge my destructive mindset, I began to feel happier.

I thought, if I can change my way of thinking, anyone can!

And so, in 1996 I founded Mindscreen and began developing resources to help children to believe in themselves and go after their dreams.

That’s how the Mindscreen experience® came into being. I hope it helps your children as much as it has helped me!