Social injustice?

Programmes focused on social and emotional learning have long-lasting benefits for young people’s mental health and academic progress, according to research. In particular, SEL has been shown to have a positive impact on children from disadvantaged backgrounds. But do all students have equal access to this type of learning? Or is it the preserve of the privileged few? Christina Quaine investigates

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It’s a gloriously sunny day in Wiltshire and students on the Open Minds summer school programme at Marlborough College are taking tea on the lawn during their morning break.

Open Minds is a residential programme that aims to develop teenagers’ self-awareness and help them to think outside of their own sphere of existence. Most of the students come from privileged backgrounds – Marlborough is an independent school and its residential summer schemes do not come cheap – but this year the intake includes several teenagers with very different roots: refugees from Syria, Guinea and Eritrea.

The ...

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