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Emotional intelligence gets the Seal of approval

Tom Bennett and Neil Humphrey's debate on the value of developing emotional intelligence ("Putting emotional intelligence to the test", Professional, 2 August) was interesting. Social and emotional skills are vital for success in life and make a significant contribution to positive behaviour and attainment at school.

I led the introduction of social and emotional aspects of learning (Seal) to the English curriculum and it was not, as Mr Bennett suggests, based on any kind of fad but on solid evidence from across the world drawing on the best curricula.

Seal has proved its worth in the many outstanding schools that use the approach. There is a vibrant new Seal community of practice in the UK (www.sealcommunity.org) and Seal has even been chosen by the Chinese government as its programme of choice to roll out across the country. Well worth a continued place in our schools, to my mind.

Jean Gross, Independent consultant and expert, and associate fellow at the University of Warwick.

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