School Mindfulness Lead Application

1. Ongoing commitment of a School Mindfulness Lead

If mindfulness is to become an established part of the education of children and young people, it is vital that the highest standards of professionalism and evidence-based integrity are maintained. We believe that this is in the interests of all those teaching mindfulness and the educators learning it. We ask that anyone applying to train as a School Mindfulness Lead understands and agrees to the prerequisites and to continue to adhere to these standards on an ongoing basis.

1.1 – Personal Mindfulness Practice

Having an established personal mindfulness practice allows you to:

  • Teach mindfully
  • Embody mindfulness
  • Model mindfulness to other teachers and school staff
  • Guide practices with awareness
  • Skilfully respond in enquiry appropriate to a professional setting

1.2 – Leading colleagues

  • Ability to facilitate interest and engagement within a professional setting
  • Holding of an open and safe learning environment for teachers and school staff
  • Good communication skills
  • Skilful management of group dynamics

I agree to meet the ongoing commitments of a School Mindfulness Lead as set out above.

2. Understand and commit to the prerequisites

2.1 – Trained in .b / Paws b and taught the course at least twice

The School Mindfulness Lead course prepares experienced .b / Paws b teachers in schools to lead colleagues in the .b Foundations introductory session and 8-session curriculum, but also to become a ‘mindfulness lead’ within the school or educational group in which they are employed.

This course recognises the practice and experience of .b and Paws b teachers in schools. The experience of the structure, language and approach involved in the teaching of .b / Paws b complements the additional skills needed to introduce mindfulness to colleagues and parents within their school or educational organisation.

We therefore request that those who wish to attend the School Mindfulness Lead course are trained in delivering .b or Paws b in the classroom, and have done so at least twice by the time they attend the School Mindfulness Lead course. PLEASE NOTE: This course does not train you to teach others to deliver the .b or Paws b curriculum.

Please note: if you trained to teach .b in 2016 as part of the MYRIAD research project, please contact enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org before completing this application form.

I have trained in .b / Paws b and taught the course at least twice.

2.2 – A well-established formal practice of at least 20-30 consecutive minutes, on 6 out of 7 days a week

Formal practice means adopting a supportive posture and sitting in stillness while intentionally cultivating the ability to bring kind and curious awareness to the body and mind. Some formal practices are explored as part of an 8-week secular mindfulness course, such as Breath and Body, Sounds and Thoughts, Turning Towards Difficulty, Gratitude and Compassion practices.

Such practices, commonly found in MBSR and MBCT courses provide the scaffolding that underlies the .b / Paws b / .b Foundations curricula, and it is assumed that those who attend our teacher training courses have a well- embedded experiential understanding of the key practices involved.

It is important to have experience of a range of practices and not do the same practice every day. For example, Body Scans are a good way to begin to explore mindfulness practice, but a weekly practice that mainly consists of body scans would not meet prerequisites for a .b Foundations training course, and must be combined with other formal practices during the week. For example, two body scans per week, alongside other formal practices mentioned above would be acceptable.

What does not count as formal practice?

Informal practices are ways of integrating mindfulness into your daily life, using the breathing space or through mindful activity such as mindful eating, mindful cooking, mindful walking, mindful sports…etc

Although we strongly encourage you to use these techniques as a way of enriching your experience of mindfulness, these do not ‘count’ as a formal practice as they do not foster the same insights as more extended, formal practices.

Many other practices have elements of mindfulness within them but are not accepted under our prerequisites, as they are not directly related to our curricula. Common examples of these include yoga, relaxation, visualisation and transcendental meditation.

Use both silent and guided practice

Guided practices (using recorded guidance) are a helpful way of internalising the scripts and structures of the practices in question. They help you to learn specific techniques, as well as refresh your practice.

It is also essential that you develop your ability to guide yourself in silence before training to teach mindfulness to young people. Silent practice enables you to be responsive to what comes up in the present moment, which forms the basis of being able to guide others while remaining grounded in your own experience.

I confirm that I have a well-established formal practice of at least 20-30 consecutive minutes, on 6 out of 7 days a week.

2.3 – Medical acknowledgment

The School Mindfulness Lead course is intended as a training to introduce the 8-week .b Foundations programme to staff in educational settings, and also to help develop a sustainable model for mindfulness within your school.

The course therefore feels more like a mindfulness retreat than a traditional teacher training course: days are full and long, and it is important to be able to give full attention to the training and rest well. It also involves attendees taking part in extended periods of guided and non-guided mindfulness practices. As with any mindfulness course or retreat, it may not be for everyone. In particular, if you have recently experienced trauma or bereavement, or severe physical or mental illness, you should consult with your GP or other medical adviser before undertaking this, or any form of mindfulness training or practice.

For more information, please read the following article by Ruth Baer and Willem Kuyken.

If you wish to discuss any concerns you might have about the School Mindfulness Lead course in this respect, please contact enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org

Please confirm that you understand that this course is not a substitute for any medical treatment you might need.

I have read the information above and confirm I understand that this course is not a substitute for any medical treatment I might need. I agree that if I have, or have recently had, symptoms of physical or mental ill-health, it is my responsibility to consult with my doctor and/or other healthcare professionals and follow their advice.

2.4 – Employed by the school or educational group in which you intend to be a School Mindfulness Lead

The School Mindfulness Lead course is intended to help school staff to develop a more sustainable, in-house model for mindfulness training and development.

The course does not equip teachers to become external providers of mindfulness training to organisations other than the school(s) in which they are employed or with which they have an ongoing relationship. For example, a teacher or leader working within a group or consortium of schools or academy chain, with which they have regular contact and with whom they would have ongoing input would meet these criteria. However, someone hoping to work in schools or groups of schools as an external and independent provider of mindfulness training would not.

I confirm that I am employed by the school or educational group in which I intend to represent a School Mindfulness Lead.

I have read and agree to the School Mindfulness Lead Training Terms & Conditions.

I have read and agree to MiSP using my data for the purposes set out in the Privacy Notice.

If, due to exceptional circumstances, you would like us to consider an alternative training pathway, please contact enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org. Please note that we are unable to hold places until an application form is received.

If you do not meet one or more of the conditions above and would like more information and guidance about how to train through the School Mindfulness Lead course in the future, please click here.

3. Complete the Application Form

Please read each question carefully, and respond as fully and accurately as possible.