Happiness should be taught in schools

A report is calling for happiness classes to become part of school life, to help improve young people’s deteriorating mental health.

The report from the Centre Forum Mental Health Commission calls for investment in the mental health of children and young people to be prioritised from conception onwards.

The report claims that approximately 10% of children currently have a mental health disorder and this has led to more young people turning to alcohol, cannabis and self-harm. Over the last five years the life satisfaction of British youngsters has stopped improving and may be declining, The Independent reports, due factors including pressure to have money, the prefect body and lifestyle, or to achieve in school.

The study suggests that teachers should find out how their pupils are feeling, make plans to deal with problems and increase their happiness. It also wants better training for teachers in how to increase their pupils’ happiness.

As part of a ‘whole school approach’, it encourages partnerships between schools and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Agencies (CAMHS) to share responsibility, though this may be difficult because of cuts to CAMHS budgets.

How would you feel about teaching your pupils how to be happy? Share your views with the Eteach community!

5 thoughts on “Happiness should be taught in schools

  1. If you ask me what I was doing in 1974, or 1980, or 1985 then apart from a couple of lines about school, uni, first job I really couldn’t account for all of the 365 days x 24 hours. I simply don’t remember – do you?
    Now ask me if I was happy in 1974/1980/1985 and I can instantly tell you the answer.
    It’s such an important issue, but should we teach it?
    If you are being bullied, if your grades are well below the average, or if your family life is a mess then having Mr West teach you happiness seems a little pointless.
    Happiness comes from having a safe environment where the talents of students are recognised and nurtured, teachers are allowed to show affection (in loco parentis was such a good phrase!), and the system is as stress free as possible.
    If we can do this then the rest comes naturally…

  2. This doesn’t really come as a shock in these days and times! Schools have always been fundamental in creating a safe, nurturing and a happy environment to children of all ages and still do. It’s part and parcel of everything we do. I am outraged that Mr Gove (in his elevated position in Government , so removed from what is the actual reality of life on this Educational Planet) has the authority to make such a sweeping remark and be making yet more ludicrous plans for yet another ever, ever, changing curriculum. Idiot!! His government need to tackle social problems on the most deprived estates in England and Wales – bet they don’t live near any of them!!

  3. The gist of this article is ridiculous in the extreme even insulting to make such a suggestion especially considering that the vast majority of young people in this country (England) have access to free education, healthcare and endless opportunities to make a decent life for themselves. It is no comparison to the lives of children in other parts of the world who face hunger, war, disease and an unending struggle to survive. I would have thought we have far more important realistic things to be worried about than pandering to a cosseted, myopic and self-centered mindset…

  4. What on earth do they think we teach?… Reading, writing, maths, facts etc are such a small part of what we do as teachers. I would be failing in my role to promote independence, confidence and a well rounded person if I didn’t take the time to ensure that my pupils felt excited and happy about their learning. Isn’t that the ethos part of a school – the bit that makes each school unique?
    We teach happiness. We teach responsibility. We teach accountability. We teach respect. We teach independence. We teach aiming high and having to strive to be the best we can. We teach a love of learning.
    You won’t find any of these on my weekly timetable but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. What a preposterous thing to suggest! Have these people stepped into schools and looked at what’s going on? Perhaps look further and see the child who doesn’t want to go home, who’s parents have no time, who sits on call of duty each weekend… perhaps we should teach parents to teach happiness..
    Oh, I forgot – in my school we support parents too and aim to develop their skills in this area too…
    We teach and we practice developing skills – not ignoring what’s there and making sweeping statements – perhaps the powers that be should take a leaf out of our books and stop this clap trap suggesting!

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