Eight-year-olds to get lessons in happiness

The Sunday Times is reporting that pupils as young as eight are to receive mindfulness, relaxation and deep breathing lessons in a government trial to promote wellbeing and happiness — while teenagers will test classes designed to help them fight anxiety.

The newspaper says that experts are also drawing up proposals under which parents and inspectors could judge schools in terms of wellbeing. The DfE is inviting applications to run the trials in schools from May. The results will be published and all schools urged to use the strategies that are shown to be the most effective. 

The mindfulness trial has been welcomed by the educational pioneer Sir Anthony Seldon, who is quoted by the newspaper as saying:

“It was negligent of government [in the past] to have this unintelligent response to wellbeing, saying this was la-la land and psychobabble. We have a crisis in mental health which is reducible now that government is beginning to take seriously the right interventions to look after the wellbeing of young people.”

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