MiSP is delighted to announce that trustee and co-founder Richard Burnett has been elected as the new Chair of MiSP’s Board of Trustees.
Richard has extensive experience of bringing mindfulness to schools, having co-written the flagship .b curriculum and taught mindfulness to thousands of children in schools since 2003. He has been a broadcaster, writer and commentator reflecting on the dual challenges of teaching mindfulness to young people and implementing a mindful approach in schools. Having stepped back from operational matters over the past few years, the Board are confident that Richard is well placed to lead the next phase of MiSP’s strategic journey.
Richard is Director of Admissions at Tonbridge School, where he was also a boarding Housemaster for 13 years. In between his Religious Studies and Spanish lessons, Richard continues to teach mindfulness at Tonbridge almost every day. As well as being a School Governor, he spent nearly a decade working in industry: at Unilever as a brand manager, and as a media consultant to the BBC, Channel 4 and IPC Media.
“I am very excited at the opportunity to become Chair of Mindfulness in Schools Project and am grateful to the Board for electing me. The mindfulness landscape has changed hugely since we set up MiSP over 10 years ago, with scarcer resources in schools, teachers leaving the profession more rapidly and the mental health of children and young people in decline. More than ever, our charity has a crucial role to play in helping children and young people navigate their way through an increasingly complex world and an uncertain future. As Chair, my aim for our charity is that we will be mindful in the way we operate, adhering to basic principles of mindfulness – kindness, patience, tolerance, curiosity, ‘beginners’ mind’ – which will make MiSP not only an effective and impactful organisation but one that people want to be a part of and support.”
The Board would like to thank outgoing Chair, Andrew Seth, for his many years of dedication and hard work for the charity, providing a steady hand that has helped guide the organisation in its establishment and evolution.
Richard’s appointment coincides with the election of trustee Maureen MacLeod as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. Maureen, formerly HR Director at American Express, has significant experience on charity boards including as former Chair of Two Ridings Community Foundation and Chair of Governors for Wilberfoss Church of England School. She is well-placed to support Richard and work with other Board members and the executive team to mitigate any risks of ‘founder syndrome’ developing, which has been thoroughly and transparently discussed.
Chief Executive Officer Chivonne Preston said:
“I am delighted that Richard will be taking on the role as Chair of our Board of Trustees, supported by Maureen as Vice-Chair. Richard brings energy, creativity, sector expertise and a leadership style that will prove invaluable to MiSP as we develop and embark on our strategy for 2020-2023.”
You can hear Richard speak about the challenges of implementing mindfulness in schools at MiSP’s 2020 Conference, being held in London on Saturday 20th June 2020.