Yale: key to happiness

7th December 2007 at 00:00
Encouraging pupils to become emotionally intelligent and sociable is now a standard part of schools' work. But two new academies in Kent are turning their attention to the morale and happiness of teachers, with the help of an American Ivy League university.

So far, 12 staff from the New Line Learning Academy and the Cornwallis Academy, in Maidstone, have been sent to Yale University to train as "emotional intelligence coaches". Under Dr Marc Brackett, of Yale's psychology department, they study relationships, negotiating skills and conflict resolution.

Back in school, they are now working as personal mentors to help other staff through the ups and downs of teaching.

All new teachers at the academies receive eight confidential sessions, which could include life outside the school gates, in the bid to build emotional wellbeing.

"If you are a contented person in other parts of your life, that will influence how you work in the classroom," said Gigi Luscombe, deputy executive head of the two schools.

Chris Gerry, the executive head, said it cost "a few thousand pounds" each year, but, with the two schools having a budget in excess of pound;15 million, it was a small amount with significant potential gains.

Research, page 30.

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