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York St John teams up with education charity NACE to offer perfectionism literacy resources for schools  

Published: 14 October 2021

  •   Research
A rainbow of exactly lined up coloured pencils

York St John University and the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE) have developed a set of “perfectionism literacy” resources. These are designed to help schools support young people in understanding perfectionism, identifying perfectionist characteristics, and being able to seek additional support if needed. 

This is part of an ongoing collaboration between NACE and York St John University, focusing on research and resources to help schools support more able learners with increasing levels of perfectionist characteristics. This collaboration builds on the University’s extensive experience in the field of perfectionism, led by its Motivation, Performance and Wellbeing (MPaW) research group. 

This latest phase has focused on developing and trialling a "perfectionism literacy" lesson. Initially developed for secondary-age learners, this lesson aims to help students understand the detrimental impact of perfectionist characteristics and differentiate perfectionism from “doing things well”. 

Professor Andrew P. Hill from York St John University is an internationally renowned perfectionism researcher and head of the MPaW research group. He said: “Perfectionism is an important issue for all schools – it plays a significant role in determining student achievement and mental health. We think all teachers should know what it is and be able to provide students with support. In working with NACE we hope to reach as many schools and students as possible.”  

Rob Lightfoot, NACE CEO, added: “Increasing students’ perfectionism literacy is so important. We know students with high levels of perfectionist characteristics can sometimes outperform their peers academically, but they find setbacks difficult to deal with. They are likely to be more anxious and worried, and generally more vulnerable to a range of mental wellbeing issues.”  

Resources for teachers including an example lesson plan, PowerPoint, supporting materials and video guidance – all free for schools to access are available on the NACE website. 

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