Mr Gove (before he left)

Wrote to Mr Gove a few weeks ago regarding my concerns at the lack of emphasis of emotional awareness in the curriculum.

I brought up a point noted by Ofsted that only a third of secondary schools integrate issues such as bullying and drugs into PSHE lessons.

I brought up the fact that mental health illness costs the British economy £100 billion a YEAR.

I pointed out the importance of equipping children with coping techniques before habitual patterns of reactivity kick in later on in their teens - with numbers of self-harm and suicide being on the up.

I explained the benefits of mindfulness and how it can be used as a life skill...

(I did start ranting a little)

Anyway - I got a reply last week -

I was told that there are currently 120 schools in the UK who are following the mindfulness programme (not many in my opinion) which is set to rise to 250 by the end of the year (still not many. In my opinion).They went on to say,

"Schools must provide a curriculum that promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development, and prepares them for later life, and often use personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education to do this. All schools should teach PSHE, drawing on good practice. We have outlined this expectation in the introduction to the new national curriculum and in the termly email to schools.

However, they have the freedom to decide which external programmes they use to deliver their curriculum and they can choose whether to adopt approaches relating to mindfulness. Many schools do choose to invest in pastoral care to support their pupils, with a recent study by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) estimated between 60% to 85% of English secondary schools provide access to counselling, delivering an estimated 50-70,000 sessions a year."


Bit wishy-washy?

And why wait until problems arise before stepping in?

And as much as I understand counselling serves a purpose and has its place, not all teenagers are able to either vocalise their feelings or choose to want to with a stranger.

Why not teach them some mindfulness techniques where they feel a sense of personal empowerment from within - without having to put it into words - BEFORE they end up with anxiety issues???

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