According to Dr Anthony Seldon, master of Wellington College, giving time for “a daily stillness period” helps students to concentrate, and can also aid in preventing mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Speaking ahead of an international conference for schools on the issue, he said: “With the decline in religious assemblies, the chance to be quiet and reflect during the school day is being lost, at a time when it is needed more than ever as young people experience increasingly frantic pressure in their lives.”
Dr Seldon went on to say that, “Mindfulness or meditation has been shown to be an invaluable tool to help bolster young people’s resilience to psychological stress. It also boosts concentration, depth of thought, happiness and achievement.” He noted that, “It is the most simple and natural technique to learn – indeed it is not really a technique at all. It is all about being yourself, making the most of yourself, and making the most of the opportunities that life presents to you.”
Dr Seldon’s speech has caught the attention of the UK government. Schools minister David Laws has said that the topic should be taken seriously, and they are looking at whether schoolchildren could benefit from classes in “mindfulness”.