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The Leading Global Voice for Compassion in Education

16 Propositions

To describe the characteristics of a Compassionate School


1 | Compassion Is A Core Belief

A compelling vision and inclusive moral purpose drives the school forward based on caring, equity, social justice. Young people are prepared for their civic and moral life as champions of peace and justice, taking care of others as well as the planet.

2 | Moral & Ethical Purpose Connects to Broader Aims Of Education

The school is fully aware of the broader purpose of education and the importance of considering what they hope will become of their children and young people when they finally leave school. The school strives to create a moral and ethical community in the hope that their pupils live up to altruistic ideals and values and care for each other and the planet and become champions of peace and justice.

3 | Values Driven

Values of inclusion, equity and equality are deeply embedded. School strives for the best outcomes for ALL pupils despite the realities of race, poverty, disability and other social barriers. Leaders articulate and reinforce clear values and beliefs through their daily interactions with staff and pupils as well as governors, so the school culture reflects the values.

4 | Success for All

A Compassionate school is a place where there is a strong belief in the potential of all to achieve. The unique strengths, talents and achievements of all individuals are nurtured, valued and celebrated. Everyone shares the confidence that comes with success.

Ethos & Culture

5 | A Strong Sense of Identity & Belonging

The school recognises that a strong sense of identity and belonging is essential for all young people to flourish in school. They purposefully create an environment where pupils feel confident, safe in their identity, and emotionally connected to the people, the place and the learning. The unique strengths of pupils are surfaced and celebrated.

6 | Act with Integrity & Compassion

All members of the school community model selflessness, integrity and compassion. They act only in the interests of children and young people and create a climate of openness taking decisions in a transparent and inclusive manner.

7 | Hope & Optimism

Leaders promote and build hope and opportunity. Staff show optimistic personal behaviour and continually strive to build an environment which nourishes well-being and where everybody can achieve.

8 | Integrate & Monitor Safeguarding and Wellbeing

Well-being is integrated into all aspects of school life, with a strong focus on safeguarding as a part of well-being. Restorative practice underpins the use of peer counsellors, mediators and mentors who support pupils to build, maintain and repair relationships. Leaders monitor carefully indicators of well-being such as staff and pupil attendance, mental health, complaints & grievance and recruitment & retention.


9 | Relationship Focused

Relationships based on mutual trust and respect are at the heart of how the school functions. Building, maintaining and repairing of relationships is purposely planned for and at the heart of personal and social development.

10 | A Curriculum That Empowers All

Leaders and staff act with courage, and humility, in the best interest of the school community to deliver a broad, balanced, creative, and inclusive curriculum, that empowers children and young people, fostering their creativity, resilience and sense of agency.

11 | Mind, Body & Spirit

The curriculum provides spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences impacting positively on physical & mental wellbeing. A compassionate school educates the whole child and is a healthy school; it promotes and develops health literacy (mental & physical) with its pupils and staff alike.

12 | Connected To The Real World

Protecting the planet and bring about positive change is a curriculum intention and so ‘taught’ not just ‘caught’. The curriculum shows children the big picture and puts their concerns into a relevant real-world perspective. The school encourages appropriate consideration of contentious issues, helping children to identify and articulate injustice and how to work for better solutions.

Call to Action

13 | Citizens of Change

Student Leadership is strong, and pupils are recognized as citizens of the school. Students are empowered to speak, to listen, to question and lead with compassion. They are encouraged to exercise their leadership and take responsibility for improving all aspects of their lives. Staff ensure that the views of students are part of the school’s decision making.

14 | Champions of Peace & Justice

A compassionate school is a campaigning school, championing the rights of others, supporting charities and the needs of the planet. There is a strong focus on fairness, equalities and the respecting of children’s rights in all aspects of school life.

15 | Action for the planet

The school strives to build awareness and action on the part of all pupils and adults to protect the planet. Sustainability is an overt priority through the working routine of the school and in the planned curriculum experience so that pupils are helped to learn about the way that human advancement can also jeopardise the fragile global ecosystem.

16 | Honest & Open Improvement

The school actively reviews and reflects on compassion and wellbeing. It regularly seeks feedback through surveys and working groups, made up of all stakeholders, in order to keep learning and keep improving what it does. It actively seeks the views of those who struggle to participate.

16 Propositions Videos