Best Practice

Case study: A compassion-based approach to pupil and staff wellbeing

The vice-principal of a Plymouth school and a clinical psychologist are working together to improve the wellbeing of students, staff and the local community using ‘compassion-based initiatives’. Emma Lee-Potter finds out more

The pressures on young people have never been greater. Rarely a week goes by without the publication of new evidence highlighting the challenges that today’s children and teenagers face in their lives, from low self-esteem and mental health issues to cyber-bullying and eating disorders.

A recent report by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), for instance, found that exam stress, social networking, peer pressure and an over-crowded curriculum are “inflicting enormous damage on our young people’s mental health”, while a YouGov survey of 11 to 24-year-olds reported that a third of youngsters lacked confidence.

Issues like these affect young people all over the country, but a Plymouth school that serves an area of high deprivation has introduced an innovative and proactive approach to tackle them.

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