Education Minister introducing classes to teach students 'how to cope with challenges in their lives'

Update 11.10am: The Education Minister says he is not introducing mindfulness into Irish schools.

It was revealed earlier that Richard Bruton wants children to be given sessions in emotional wellbeing, but he denies it's going to be a 'contemplation class'.

900 teachers are to be trained to help pupils in disadvantaged schools battle anxiety and build resilience through a programme called 'Incredible Years'.

But Minister Bruton's refusing to call it a meditation course.

"No, it's not mindfulness. These are programmes that are run either for teachers or in the second case these are 10 sessions that will be provided to young people to help themselves learn how to cope with challenges in their lives," said minister Bruton

"This isn't, if you like, a contemplation class. This is real content with real capacity to influence how people cope."

Mindfulness classes are to be offered to some of the country's poorest pupils.

Teachers in DEIS schools are to be trained to help children with their emotional wellbeing.

It is hoped the course could discourage disruptive behaviour and lower anxiety levels.

But parenting expert David Carey says it isn't enough.

"It's all well and good to build mindfulness into the curriculum, but if you don't make other changes, you still have a curriculum that in many cases, particularly for young children, is not developmentally appropriate," he said.


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