Helen Amass

Does positive education improve results?


Positive education is being picked up by more and more schools as part of the wellbeing movement, with supporters claiming that the approach improves pupils’ mental health and boosts academic results. But is there any evidence that it works? Helen Amass looks at the research and talks to schools that have already adopted the ‘PosEd’ philosophy

How positive is positive education?

Stephen Meek takes a deep breath and clicks “send”. After months of discussion and weighing up the pros and cons, the announcement finally appears in the inboxes of hundreds of fee-paying parents: academic learning will no longer be the number-one priority at Geelong Grammar School, where he is principal. Instead, the focus will be on wellbeing, under the banner of “positive education”.

Meek sits back and waits anxiously for the complaints to roll in. But he is pleasantly surprised: they never do.

“Not a single parent withdrew their child [from the school], even though academic learning ...

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