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Well-being in schools (SEAL)

In 2007 the Centre has published a large paper outlining why we think that a taught approach to social and emotional skills for all children in school (SEAL in England) may be dangerous.

In February 2009 we are now adding to our deliberations on well-being in school with a new paper: The curious case of the tail wagging the dog. This reiterates some of our concerns with SEAL but also adds new material questioning approaches to boost happiness and counteract depression.

The curious case of the tail wagging the dog

Original SEAL paper

In this paper we also outline our view that there is not enough evidence to support such a wholesale change in education. We are not at all critical of teachers or other professionals who are currently having to teach these skills to children who have an obvious difficulty. Our concern is with a systematic, programmatic approach aimed at all children from the age of 3 to 18.

The large paper is 100 pages and sets out the nature of our concerns. This paper does not simply assert the problem but gives detailed arguments and evidence. The paper is called: 'The potential dangers of a systematic, explicit approach to teaching social and emotional skills (SEAL)'

You can download the report free of charge by clicking on the document at the bottom of this page.

Summary of Report

We have also produced an 18 page summary and overview of this large paper. This telescopes the  arguments and presents them largely without the supporting evidence or references. This is available for immediate download free of charge. Use the link to your right which is in the related pages section.

On 7th March 2011 BBC Radio 4's series Analysis broadcast a programme called Testing the Emotions. The presenter is Fran Abrams and she is, in our view, rightly sceptical about the evidence and some of the practices of SEAL.

 SEAL report (1,705 KB)

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