Mindfulness – a mediation technique that teaches people to focus on the present moment – is not preparing children to cope with the pressures of the real world, the headmaster of Ampleforth College has said.

“Mindfulness has its place and young people do have a lot of stress these days. They need to be very resilient."

David Lambon, head of Ampleforth College

David Lambon, who is the first lay headmaster at one of the UK’s top fee-paying Roman Catholic schools, said that instead schools should equip pupils with values that will guide them through the vicissitudes of life.

Private schools have rushed to embrace mindfulness as a way to help pupils cope with the growing pressures of academia: from getting top grades to being bullied. There is evidence the practice boosts the brain and it helps teenagers embrace self-control and resist peer pressure.

However, in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Lambon said: “Mindfulness has its place and young people do have a lot of stress these days. They need to be very resilient.

“But we need to give our children a framework, a compass for life, something they have with them their entire life with helps them not to cope only with the pressures of being a teenager but that gives them a faith that will deeply rooted and will last them through their entire lives.

“We need to give children not just coping strategies but values that they can rely on no matter what life throws at them."

David Lambon, head of Ampleforth College


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