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I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me

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Action for Happiness in Schools

In partnership with the National Children's Bureau (NCB) we plan to launch an 'Action for Happiness in Schools' initiative. The aim is to create a movement of schools that are genuinely committed to putting happiness and well-being at the heart of their ethos and activities.

How would it work?

The planned initiative is likely to involve three main components:

  • Knowledge hub. Creating a central hub of knowledge to highlight the latest research on evidence-based approaches and case studies of practice (both national and international) that is proving effective in improving children's happiness and well-being in schools.
  • Connecting people. Helping schools connect more effectively with practitioners and experts in the area of happiness and well-being. This will include online communities to develop and share ideas and organising events and workshops for participating schools.
  • National campaign. Providing ideas and campaign materials for use by participating schools to inform discussions with pupils, staff and parents, and to raise wider awareness within the local community of the actions being undertaken by the school.

The overall objective is to encourage more schools to take practical steps both to increase well-being for all within the school and also to equip children with the essential skills they need to live a happy life. For example, this could include reviewing the school's vision and purpose, developing ways to engage the whole school community in well-being initiatives or introducing new evidence-based programmes as part of the curriculum.

What's happened so far?

We have engaged over 50 stakeholders in developing this idea. On 28 July we held an initial workshop to discuss with a range of headteachers, expert practitioners and organisations with related interests (e.g. PSHE Association, Young Minds, Institute of Education).

There was strong support for the idea and a working group is being established to agree details ahead of a launch in late 2011.

Below are links to the key documents from the initial Action for Happiness in Schools workshop:

Note: these documents are in PDF form so you will need Acrobat Reader to view them. To download local copies right-click on the links and choose "save as".

Get involved

If you'd like to get more closely involved in developing or participating in the Action for Happiness in schools initiative please get in touch using the Contact Us form and mark your message for the attention of Paul Adnitt.

Resources and Links

Helping children thrive

Schools have a vital role in helping children develop the capabilities to lead happy lives

Thriving schools

Recent decades have seen big increases in the proportion of young people with emotional and behavioural issues. Mental health problems are increasingly prevalent, with 20% of children experiencing such issues each year. These problems affect other areas of a child's life and also increase the likelihood of mental health difficulties later on in adult life.

Schools experience the day-to-day reality of these issues but are also vital in combating them and promoting good emotional health. Our vision is for a movement of schools placing happiness and well-being at the heart of their ethos and culture, and proactively sharing their approaches with others.