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(UK) "Mindfulness" meditation practices expand in UK schools; students suffer trauma from home

Updated: Nov 30, 2018

Nov 25, 2018, Guardian: ‘It stops the scary stuff’: pupils thrive with mindfulness lessons https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/nov/25/schools-deprived-areas-embrace-mindfulness … It is an unlikely place, perhaps, to find a thriving mindfulness teaching programme. But English Martyrs is one of a growing number of schools in deprived parts of Britain that are embracing meditation techniques to help vulnerable children cope. “We see a lot of pressure put on children’s shoulders due to family circumstances, parents losing their jobs, financial stress, anxiety about crime, fear about homelessness,” said headteacher Lewis Dinsdale. “Children internalise things, but what mindfulness has done is bring a number of quieter children to the surface – children who we’d never have known were going through such anxiety and stress at home. … Nationally, the Mindfulness in Schools Project said it had trained nearly 2,000 teachers this year, a jump of 40% on last year, and much of that growth came from schools with higher than average proportions of vulnerable children. But for cash-strapped schools, it’s not cheap. Dinsdale said that he had to find £2,500 [$3,200 US dollars] to train one member of staff. “As a head teacher you’re always looking at the bottom line, and that’s a lot of money,” he said. The investment had paid off, he said, not just helping with children’s mental health but improving their academic performance too. He described how some children used to have panic attacks when sitting Sats. One girl had been physically sick on her test paper. He was critical of Ofsted inspectors for not being more tuned in to the benefits of mindfulness. “It’s frustrating because it isn’t a box that they have to tick,” he said. … That type of disruptive behaviour has not gone away, but it has tailed off. It happened because they were scared of failure, he said. …