19 Mar ‘Happiness’ on school curriculum
‘Happiness’ on school curriculum
from the Press Association
Schools in one city are set to put happiness at the heart of the curriculum.
Emotional well-being will be made a priority in Birmingham’s 440 schools, alongside literacy and numeracy, under a new Children and Young People’s Plan.
Cabinet member for children Councillor Les Lawrence said: “We are statistically the youngest city in Europe and our children are our most precious resource. We support our young people in making a positive contribution to society and the economy and prepare them for the world of work, but that would count for nothing if almost half the population are stressed and anxious.”
Under the initiative, called Brighter Futures, emotional well-being will become one of six priority outcomes.
The strategy follows a survey of children, young people and families in Birmingham which found that 17% of seven to 18-year-olds “worried a lot” and one in 10 were “downhearted, unhappy or tearful”.
Mr Lawrence said: “There is certainly growing recognition that the emotional health of our children needs urgent attention and that is why we have included it in our priorities.
“But I wouldn’t want to pin the blame for this childhood malaise on any particular factor. Most adults will agree that growing-up has always had its difficulties.
“There are a whole range of issues at play here. Social skills are not just about happiness, they are vital if you are to get on in the adult world.”
He added: “It’s not just about happiness for the sake of it, we all perform better when we’re smiling.”
The proposals are awaiting the approval of Birmingham councillors, having been endorsed by the City Council’s ruling cabinet.