... but for when it can't, help is at hand

20th July 2007 at 01:00
feeling a bit down in the mouth? Don't worry. Happiness lessons could soon be coming to your school. Wellington College, at Crowthorne in Berkshire, the public school that pioneered teaching "the skills of well-being", has decided to share its knowledge.

The college has teamed up with Wokingham, its local council, to spread the good news to teachers and other adults who work with children. And with both the Government and the Training and Development Agency for Schools showing an interest, the scheme could eventually go nationwide.

Anthony Seldon, head of Wellington, said the idea is the logical next step for the children's agenda and has dubbed it Every Adult Matters. "If you have teachers who are very angry, stressed out or cynical and negative you are not going to get a good school because these values permeate down to the children," he said.

Mr Seldon said his 100 teachers and around 1,500 others in Wokingham state schools will be able to apply to attend trial well-being sessions from January.

Wendy Woodcock, Wokingham's corporate head of children's services, said: "It is about how to feel better about yourself and get more control over your life."

Mr Seldon practises yoga to relax but expects to benefit further from the scheme. It will use Wellington's pupil programme as a starting point which includes advice on relationships, sleeping properly and living in the present.

Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, this week pledged an additional pound;60 million to support schools working with mental health practitioners and others to improve the emotional well-being of pupils.

Anthony Seldon, page 25

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