Compassion in Education: The Why’s, The What’s, The Result’s

Within education, retention, wellbeing and mental health is at crisis point. For example, in 2019, Ofsted found that 76% of teachers reported their job had a negative impact on their mental health, and Carmichael (2017) found that 30% of teachers left the profession within the first five years, citing reasons of excessive workload and bureaucracy. In respect to pupil and student mental health, in 2018, the NHS reported that one in ten primary-aged and one in seven secondary-aged pupils suffered from a mental health disorder. This showed a rise of 15% in mental health disorders since 1999. Comparatively, in HE, mental health disorders have increased in young people aged 17-19, from one in ten in 2017, to one in six in 2021 (NHS, 2021). This rise in mental health issues has only been exacerbated by Covid-19. In addressing these problems of retention and poor staff, pupil and student mental health, for the past 8 years we have been introducing compassion based CPD/curricula into the education sector. Our reasons include that as compared to many wellbeing interventions, compassion interventions are associated with promising effect sizes for improving wellbeing and decreasing poor mental health symptomology. We have now introduced our various curricula to over 1,000 teachers, pupils and HE students nationally and internationally. In the symposium today we will overview our curricula and findings to date, including how our teacher curriculum improves both psychological and physiological wellbeing and can protect from burn-out. How our pupil curriculum protects from increased anxiety and results in improved emotion regulation and better classroom behaviour, and how our FE/HE curriculum improves co-operation and feelings of inclusivity when students’ progress group assignments.


Presentation 1: Compassionate Mind Training for Teachers (CMT-Teachers): A 6 Module CPD

Presenter: Professor Frances Maratos, University of Derby


Presentation 2: Compassion Mind Training for Pupils (CMT-P): PSHE Curricula for pupils aged 9 to 12

Presenter: Professor Frances Maratos, University of Derby


Presentation 3: Compassionate Mind Training in FE/HE (CC-FE/HE): The importance of Compassionate Communication

Presenter: Dr Caroline Harvey, University of Derby