How can I fund mindfulness in my school?

Training to teach MiSP curricula costs around £6 per pupil if, over a period, you teach it to 120 pupils. Below are some ideas for how you can fund this, including support from MiSP, accessing existing funding in your school, and other potential sources of funding.

Funding from MiSP

There are a number of ways MiSP can support with funding training for schools and educational settings in the UK.

MiSP Supported Places

Our charity provides Supported Places to UK schools on many of our training courses. We currently assess applications on the proportion of pupils receiving free school meals, with English as an additional language, and pupils with identified SEND support at your school. Schools situated in a in a Rural Town, Village or Hamlet may also be offered support from MiSP. Find out more and apply here.

MiSP Early Career Teachers’ Support Fund

MiSP offers financial support to teachers in the early stages of their careers to learn mindfulness for themselves and train to teach it to children. Applications will be welcome from all UK schools and awards made on a first come first served basis to individuals within four years of achieving Qualified Teacher Status. Find out more and apply here.

Existing funding in your school

Depending on where you are and the type of setting you work in, there are a number of ways you can consider funding mindfulness.

Government Funding

Depending on where you are located, your school or setting may receive funding from Government which can be spent on running the school. It may be that your school will have to demonstrate how these funds have helped meet statutory requirements, raise student attainment, and deliver best value for money.

In terms of funding mindfulness in your school, there is a strong case that our mindfulness curricula meet core elements of statutory requirements. Many countries have legislation which makes it compulsory for schools to cover socio-emotional learning, wellbeing and health education.

In England, for example, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education are compulsory in applicable schools in England. Part of this it “to embrace the challenges of creating a happy and successful adult life, pupils need knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy”. Mindfulness can give young people the capacity to make sound decisions when facing risks, challenges and complex contexts.

School inspection frameworks may look at the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management. The introduction of mindfulness into your school, for both your pupil and your staff, can positively impact the outcome of schools inspections and you can collate evidence to demonstrate this. Our Class Impact Reports are a good start but you can also refer to other relevant statistics over a period of time to show the impact. Consider the inspection framework relevant to your school to see where it covers applicable areas.

Based on this, you need to make a business case for your school’s leadership team and any Governing Board/ Trust to show how introducing and embedding mindfulness in your school supports your school plans, meets statutory requirements and guidance, helps student attainment and delivers value for money. The benefits of mindfulness across school performance are broad, and you can tailor this summary of research findings written by Professor Katherine Weare to make a compelling case applicable to your school’s particular circumstances.

Special Funding

It may be that your school receives or can apply for special funding to help it support pupils who are at a disadvantage due to many factors such as being from a low income family, having additional educational needs, marginalised communities and so on. For example, in Wales, there is a Pupil Development Grant part of which focuses on health and wellbeing. In England, Pupil Premium funding allows schools to help disadvantaged pupils by improving their progress and the exam results they achieve. In Scotland, there is the Pupil Equity Fund which is for schools to support children receiving free school meals with new activities including relating to their health and wellbeing. Northern Ireland offers an Extended Schools programme which provides for extra provisions for disadvantaged children and young people. If you are outside the UK, arrangements might be different so do approach your school’s management team to see what might be available.

Support for struggling pupils can be an area which attracts funding. MiSP’s curricula are designed as a whole class curriculum rather than a specific intervention which can provide support to struggling pupils alongside their peers in a class setting.

Strategies that relate to non-academic factors, including improving attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support are often ways to support additional funding requirements. The evidence for the benefits of mindfulness for children in these areas is growing all the time. You can find a summary of the benefits of mindfulness on children and young people here:

Schools are usually required to evidence the impact of the interventions they introduce. This means:

  • Ensuring there is an Action Plan which will detail how spending will improve progress, at what cost, over what timescale and what measurements will be used to evidence outcomes. There is no reason why mindfulness can’t feature on your plan.
  • Collecting relevant data to monitor and evaluate the impact of mindfulness on pupils. Our charity provides Class Impact Reports so that you have data to evidence the impact of our curricula. In addition, you can analyse other measures of progress which you collect such as attainment and progress data, absences, behaviour incidents, referrals, etc to support your case. Details of Class Impact Reports can be found here:

Understanding the cost per pupil. If a teacher just teaches 30 children, the cost per pupil is on average £25 which makes it an inexpensive intervention. However, we know that on average our trained teachers teach over 120 children each. At an average cost of just £6 per pupil, there is a compelling case for mindfulness as an efficient and effective use of additional funding.

Sports and Physical Education funding

Many professional sports men and women use mindfulness to improve their performance. There is a case that mindfulness can be introduced to children as part of their Sports and Physical Education (PE) learning.

It may be that there is funding in this area that you can access. For example, in England, Primary Schools get a PE and Sport premium which can be used to fund additional and sustainable improvements to the provision of PE, physical activity and sport for the benefit of pupils aged 5-10 to encourage the development of healthy, active lifestyles.

Mindfulness can be practised as part of PE and sport via mindful movement: mindful walking, sport, even free-running/parkour are all excellent activities to practice mindfulness in.

The profile of PE and sport is raised across the whole school as a tool for whole-school improvement. Where mindfulness can be embedded across the school it will raise the profile of lessons which include mindfulness practice – which can be any subject, including PE and Sport.

Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport. Mindfulness is used by elite athletes to improve their focus, notice how their bodies are feeling, notice their thoughts about their performance, and anchor themselves in order to be able to achieve their very best. If all staff are informed about, and ideally trained in, mindfulness, they will have a better understanding of how to encourage higher achievement in PE and Sport from their pupils.

Staff training and continual professional development (CPD) budgets

Sadly, many schools no longer have general staff training or CPD budgets and amounts available per staff member vary greatly. If your school funds staff training, you should make a case to train to teach mindfulness by tying MiSP training to your School Improvement Plan. A recent report by the Teacher Development Trust found that CPD is linked to improved results for pupils, plus better staff morale and retention. Add this to the many benefits of mindfulness for your school community and you have a good case.

Parents’ and Friends’ Associations

Increasingly, parents are funding crucial elements of school life. The charity Parentkind’s parent survey in 2019 found that parents are regularly asked by schools to make financial donations as well as voluntarily raising money to support their schools. The survey also showed that parents prioritise a curriculum which develops responsible citizens and good mental health and well-being, and we know of examples where the PTA has funded a staff member or volunteer to support bringing mindfulness to the children. You can approach your school’s parents’ or friends’ association for funding, presenting a clear case highlighting the benefits of mindfulness: for the children, for the staff, for the whole community, and the value for money and how it fits within the school improvement plan. You will also need to ensure you have the support of the school leadership team and, ideally, the Governing Board/ Trust so that this initiative is supported throughout the school.

Other sources of funding

There are a limited number of other sources of funding which might provide grants to cover some or all of the costs of training adults to teach mindfulness to children and young people in schools.

Joint bids for funding – apply with MiSP!

Our charity is very happy to try to support applications for grant funding and can make applications in collaboration with individual schools, groups of schools or community groups to bring mindfulness to children in your area. We can only do this where the initiative is supported by SLT and where there is a commitment to provide curriculum time to mindfulness within the school day. Please contact if you would like us to help you pursue this.

Approaching other funders

Whether you approach a national or local grant funder or a local business, you will need to have a good case to put before them, outlining:

  • The background and need for the expenditure (why you can’t pay for it yourself)
  • How it will benefit the school (be specific) and over what timeframe
  • How you will measure the benefits
  • What it will cost
  • Evidence of support from stakeholders: SLT, parents etc
  • What the funder will get in return –public acknowledgement of the funding on your website and across your social media is a good start

For many local businesses this is an affordable amount. You can write a letter explaining what you are aiming to do and how much you need to raise and hand deliver it to local businesses inviting them to be part of a local funding coalition. Face to face explanation with business owners or budget holders is often the best tactic. If you can get one local business to agree, often this is enough to persuade others to join too.

Your local library should have a copy (or you can request it) of The Directory of Social Change’s Directory of Grant Making Trusts where you can find national as well as local grant funders. Education is well supported by many trusts and foundations and it is likely you can find support from somewhere provided you tailor your application to their funding priorities. You can also do an internet search for grant funders in your local area.

If you have any thoughts or ideas for alternative funding possibilities, we would be pleased to hear from you.
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