Guide to Student Personal Development in Secondary Schools and Colleges

Persona Education white paper - Personal Development Mar-23


A free, practical PDF guide for schools and colleges globally. Improve Wellbeing, Academic and Employability outcomes for students age 13-24, by unlocking Social-Emotional Skills in every classroom. “This guide is an invaluable resource that will help school and college leaders, teachers, tutors, pastoral leads, careers leads and guidance counsellors.” – Al Kingsley, CEO at NetSupport and Chair of Trustees at Hampton Academies Trust, UK



By Pete Read, CEO & Co-founder


A practical guide for schools and colleges globally

Now available to download for free: Our practical guide for schools and colleges to improve wellbeing, academic and employability outcomes for students age 13-24, by unlocking Social-Emotional Skills in every classroom.

Our free downloadable PDF guide by Leila Khouja Walker and myself, with contributions from Jo Malone – and a forward by Al Kingsley, Chair of Trustees at Hampton Academies Trust – provides you with evidence of the benefits of adopting a Personal Development approach through Social-Emotional Learning in your school or college, with many ideas and resources to help you achieve whole school/college benefits, greater student wellbeing, higher academic attainment, better leaver employability and improved teacher wellbeing.


Equipping young people with Life Skills is non-negotiable

A future where young people are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to navigate life challenges is non-negotiable.

Adapt to others needs.

The world is in the midst of a global “crisis of education” post-pandemic. The United Nations sees this as an opportunity for transforming education globally. It is a pivotal moment when governments and educators can choose to build back better… or go back to the outdated way things have been done for generations.

By 2025, automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million job descriptions globally. And as the economy and job markets evolve, 97 million new roles will be created, according to the OECD. The future workforce therefore needs to be able to do the jobs that machines cannot, so alongside technical and digital skills, there is a massive requirement for a range of ‘softer’ skills, aka Social-Emotional Skills or Life Skills.

In Jul-22 the Pearson School Report representing the views of more than 6,500 educators in England, found two-thirds of teachers want to see core Life Skills – such as communication skills, mental health and wellbeing, social skills and responsible decision making – incorporated into the national curriculum with as much time and emphasis as core subjects.


Breaking down barriers

For many secondary schools and colleges catering for age 13 and above, student Personal Development and Social-Emotional Learning has traditionally been seen as something of an add-on. But our guide will show you how prioritising Social-Emotional Learning can actually break down barriers to achieve all-round positive student outcomes.

Group of happy young Asia friends having fun a great time and laughing enjoying meal while sitting together at cafe restaurant. Coffee shop holiday activity, modern friendship lifestyle concept


The free guide will open your eyes to the importance of Personal Development for your students preparing for the adult world they will soon be entering. It provides you ideas and resources to help you achieve:

✔ Whole school/college benefits

✔ Greater student wellbeing

✔ Higher academic attainment

✔ Better leaver employability

✔ Improved teacher wellbeing


What's inside?

Persona Education white paper - Personal Development - sample pages.

The 85 page PDF download is a comprehensive guide to student Personal Development, in ten sections, including:

Forward by Al Kingsley

Introduction: Why do Personal Development?

1. Whole School/College Benefits

2. Examples From Around the World

3. Positive Outcomes Start With Understanding ‘Self’

4. Understanding Students’ Personalities to Inform Pedagogy

5. Social-Emotional Skills for Personal Development

6. Delivering Personal Development

7. Ten Classroom Strategies at No Extra Cost or Resource

8. Measurement, Certification and Digital Badging

9. Spin-off Benefits for Teacher Wellbeing

10. Useful Resources


School and college case studies

Bringing our ideas and suggested approaches to life, the guide includes numerous examples of Personal Development implementation and Social-Emotional Learning at institutions such as Cognita, Wellington College, Tanglin Trust School and West Suffolk College.

Persona Education - Personal Development white paper case study.

Plus: We have researched six real-life case studies on schools and colleges around the world, based on interviews and feedback from leaders, teachers and students:    

  • Seth M.R. Jaipuria Schools (India) – Senior Leadership Team perspective

  • The English College in Prague (Czech Republic) – Student wellbeing

  • Lewis & Clark High School (United States) – Classroom implementation

  • Gaia Learning (online school) – Academic outcomes

  • Ayla International School (Jordan) – Classroom implementation

  • Wakefield College (United Kingdom) – Employability and digital badges


Download your copy!

Persona Education - Personal Development white paper cover.

To claim your PDF copy of this invaluable guide, complete this short form for an immediate free download. 


Persona Education offers free access to its Persona Life Skills online learning platform for secondary schools and colleges interested in developing their pupils’ social-emotional life skills, to boost wellbeing and employability. 

About the author: Pete Read co-founded Persona Education in 2019 to bring the benefits of personality insights to young people. Before founding Persona, Pete built several consulting and software companies in Europe and Asia, one of which was rated the no.1 consulting company to work for in Asia-Pacific by, winning best-in-class on diversity, gender equality and LGBTQ+ equality.

Guide to Student Personal Development in Secondary Schools and Colleges

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