David Woods

Message from the Chair

"Schools need to offer pupils the chance to learn with and about compassion. What young people learn should include a fascination for the way in which humans have tried to extend their world, sometimes with incredible achievement and sometimes at incredible cost. Our successes are often accompanied by failings and side-effects. We need future generations to strive for accomplishment while at the same time showing humility. Compassion should pervade school life and what we teach our young".
Professor Mick Waters

News Archive

Spiritual Ecology in Action

Spiritual ecology in action!
A special one day confluence

Environmental Peacebuilding
November 11th 2017 | 10:00 - 18:00

In an interweaving of live talks, action-orientated discussion, ritual, music and storytelling, we will explore:

  • Spiritual Ecology in action: We'll enquire into the meaning of Spiritual Ecology as a worldview and framework, as well as how to apply it in practice.
  • Multiple mediums and perspectives: We'll engage with the theme  through story, music, film, indigenous music and ritual. We'll hear from diverse perspectives including voices from the fields of religion, science, art, activism and youth.
  • Challenges and opportunities: We'll progress thought and practice in this field by reflecting on questions of common concern.
  • Deep diving into specific themes: We'll dialogue on specific areas of interest such as language, religion, food, sacred activism and more.
  • Taking it home: We'll reflect on what Spiritual Ecology in action means in our own lives and contexts.
  • Strengthening the movement: We'll build relationships with others passionate about bringing together spiritual values and environmental and social change-making.

Expect a space that is both nourishing and expanding; contemplative and practical; experiential and inquisitive! It will be a gathering of people of diverse ages, backgrounds, spiritualities and professions.

More information and booking

Education Forward Conference

Mindfulness in Schools Project
invites you to find out more ...

  • What is mindfulness?
  • Why mindfulness is beneficial to both teachers and students
  • How MiSP can help you to learn mindfulness, teach mindfully and take mindfulness to your school


    2.30pm-5pm | WED 4th OCTOBER
    Millenium Room, Carriageworks Theatre, 3c Millenium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
    Book your place
    2pm-4pm | THURS 5th OCTOBER
    KingsGate Centre, 2 Staplee Way, Peterborough, PE1 4YT
    Book your place
    4.30pm-6.30pm | WED 8th NOVEMBER
    The King's School, Cadhay Lane, Ottery Saint Mary, EX11 1RA
    Book your place
    3pm-5.30pm | WED 15th NOVEMBER
    Mercure Swansea Hotel, Phoenix Way, Swansea, SA7 9EG
    Book your place

Places are limited. If you have any questions, please email: enquiries@mindfulnessinschools.org | www.mindfulnessinschools.org

Education Forward Conference

Education Forward Conference

10.30 - 16.30 | Saturday, October 14th
Education Forward is your opportunity to listen, learn, respond and contribute to the movement for positive, optimistic future focussed learning for all.

Speakers including Mick Waters, Hywel Roberts, Debra Kidd, David Price, Ross McGill Madeleine Holt (amongst many others) will share short provocative, informative, insightful and inspirational resumes of their chapters in the soon to be published book Forwards - available on the day. All attendees will then be involved in discussions to challenge, modify and build upon these ideas as we co-create a rich and deep alternative to traditional ways of thinking about schooling.

Tickets: £35 | Eventbrite
Venue: Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre Limited off Bennett Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 3HN
More Information: Flyer (pdf)
Email: info@educationforward.co.uk

How to Become a Compassionate Citizen

How to Become a Compassionate Citizen

New Course Starting September 27th
Do you ever feel that life in the city moves so fast that you are always running to catch up? Are there times when you feel overwhelmed by the noise, the crowds and the continuous hustle and bustle? Do you wonder how you, as just one person, can make any kind of difference in these uncertain times?
This course goes to the heart of what it means to live in a modern city and contribute to the greater good. Each of us has the possibility to work with our habits and conditioning to find ways of becoming a truly compassionate citizen.

Start date : 27 September 2017
Duration of the course: the course is six sessions long + an introduction
More Information: Charter for Compassion

Mediatio Centre
Rob Faure Walker



Find out more about the The Meditatio Centre Autumn 2017 programme and catch up with the latest news and events.

Rob Faure Walker has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his monthly digest

Many thanks to Rob for all the hard work in compiling the list.

Promoting Health: Public Health's Return to Local Authorities: 4 Years on


Tuesday 4th July. 10.30am-3.30pm. Leeds Beckett University
Conference of value to all interested in health promotion and public health including public health specialists and practitioners, health visitors and school nurses.
Cost: £65 members, £75 non-members, £50 (Acceptance of poster), £25 students.

Content includes: obesity; mental health; accident prevention
Speakers include: Penny Spring; Sheila Merrill
Booking: http://ihpe.org.uk/conference/
More info: Download the flyer (pdf)

Children and young people's mental health - role of education inquiry


Pupils should have more time for well-being, say MPs
Schools and colleges struggle to provide adequate time and resource for pupils' well-being, according to the Health and Education Committees in a joint report published today.

As part of a joint inquiry into children and young people's mental health, the Committees found that financial pressures are restricting the provision of mental health services in schools and colleges. The next Government must review the effect of the budget reductions in the education sector, the report adds.

The Committees say an increasing number of education providers are having to cut back on mental health services, such as in-school counsellors, despite a growing prevalence of mental ill health among children and young people. The report notes that half of all cases of mental illness in adult life start before the age of 15 and that one in 10 children aged between 5-16 have had a diagnosed mental disorder.

Resilience, the biology of stress and science of hope


The film chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease.
Followed by Director Q&A with James Redford and Dr Graham Music, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.


  • Thursday 27th April | London launch event - Prince Charles Cinema - Q&A with Dr Graham Music & director James Redford.
  • Saturday 29th April | Scottish premiere - Grosvenor Cinema, Glasgow - Q&A with director James Redford.
  • 12th & 13th May | London screenings either at or near the Attachment and Trauma Conference.
  • Saturday 20th May | Birmingham screening Odeon Cinema, Broadway. This unfortunately had to be cancelled due to licencing issues, another Birmingham date will hopefully be arranged soon.
Compassion Course Online 2017
Rob Faure Walker


With Thom Bond, Founder and Director of Education, NYCNVC
Changing Lives for 6 Years, in over 100 Countries,
with more than 14,000 Participants and now in 4 Languages!

"For anyone who is inspired to have more compassion, understanding and harmony in their lives and in our world"

This One Year Course Begins June 21st, 2017 and runs through June 2018
More information

Rob Faure Walker has taken over from Bill Bolloten and has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his monthly digest

Many thanks to Rob for all the hard work in compiling the list.

Mediatio Centre

Bill Bolloten



Find out more about the The Meditatio Centre 2017 programme and catch up with the latest news and events.

Bill Bolloten has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his monthly digest

Many thanks to Bill for all the hard work in compiling the list.


A documentary film by James Redford
The film sheds light on new scientific research about young people who suffer from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The CoED Foundation is elated to partner with the US based KPJR Films to host a limited viewing of the Paper Tigers in England: London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Newcastle.
The CoED Foundation seeks to facilitate a dialogue between those who work with young people in areas such as Mental Health, Education, Youth & Social Services, Law Enforcement and Faith & Spiritual Development.
After the screening, over tea and coffee there will be a panel discussion and Q& A moderated by CoED Patron Reverend Dr. Keith Magee.

Birmingham Screening 16/11/16:
Book your free place | More information
Nottingham Screening 18/11/16:
Book your free place | More information

Eroding Trust: The UK’s Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education
Bill Bolloten


Eroding Trust: The UK's Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education
The launch of of a new report by the Open Society Justice Initiative assessing the human rights impact of the government's Prevent strategy in health and education. The report seeks to contribute to the debate on Prevent, at a time when the government is preparing to update the CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy of which it is a part.

The launch will take place on Wednesday 19th October in Committee Room 10 at 6pm. House of Commons
RSVP to Priya Dev – devp@parliament.uk

Bill Bolloten has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his monthly digest

Many thanks to Bill for all the hard work in compiling the list.

People of the Earth

People of the Earth - Londoners! Refugee Organisations!

Are you motivated to take action in response to the humanitarian crisis in Europe? Are you supporting those building a new life in London? - Then this is a project for you! People of the Earth is a new project about living from our deepest values and stimulating acts of friendship between ten Londoners and ten refugees seeking to making their home in the UK.

London residents - Apply now! Applications close on 25 September 2016. Interviews Fri 30 September and Sat 1 October.
Refugee organisations - Refer now! Referrals close on 14 October 2016.

Application Packs and Referral Packs with more project details .

Greater Good Meditatio Centre





Educating for Hope in troubled times | Climate change and the transition to a post-carbon future

Educating for Hope in troubled times

Climate change and the transition to a post-carbon future

“We are entering a period of great transition - stormy times of uncertainty, threat and possibility, which will especially affect the lives of young people – yet guides to the future for educators and their students are woefully few. David Hicks' new book is timely, significant, and necessarily bold - a critically important navigational guide to the learning journey we must all make to a low-carbon and very different future.
At once a wake-up call and an inspirational 'why, what and how' guide to all educators striving to help young people to navigate an uncertain future.”

Professor Stephen Sterling
Centre for Sustainable Futures, Plymouth University

More information on Educating for Hope in troubled times | Climate change and the transition to a post-carbon future.

Other publications and free resources can be found at www.teaching4abetterworld.co.uk

Bill Bolloten


Bill Bolloten has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his monthly digest

Many thanks to Bill for all the hard work in compiling the list.

Sacred Activists: Young Leaders, Inter-Spirituality & Social Change

Sacred Activists: Young Leaders, Inter-Spirituality & Social Change

Are you 18 to 36-year old and hungry for change? Do you want to find out how inter-faith, contemplation and activism can combine in fresh new ways? Are you ready to tap into your unique gifts and join a vibrant community of young change-makers?
Then join this 9 month interfaith leadership programme!

Together we will:

  • Visit inspiring youth-led communities where activism is lived from a place of faith
  • Learn from cutting-edge pioneers in the field
  • Volunteer in a refugee camp
  • Co-create interdevotional spaces where spiritual knowledge, action and contemplation can meet

Sacred Activists is a radical new programme that speaks to the most urgent needs of our time. It calls those with the spark of the future in their hearts, with committed spiritual lives and the impulse to lead, to rise to the challenge of initiating dynamic and sustainable social change from a place of living faith.
For more information contact: viviana@stethelburgas.org
Download the Flyer

Tara Redwood SchoolThe Center for Creating Compassionate Cultures

Tara Redwood School is recruiting

We are looking to add to our wonderful team of enthusiastic and passionate teachers who also demonstrate a genuine care and belief in each child's ability to grow and develop to their fullest potential.

Applicant requirements:

  • Teaching credential
  • At least 2+ years experience
  • Passionate about contemplative education and social emotional learning
  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Committed to life-long learning
  • Montessori experience preferred

Applications must include at least three references.
If you are not a citizen of the USA, we will work with you to organize a legal work visa.
If this type of learning/teaching environment is something you are interested in, send your resume to:
Please write & send your resume to office@tararedwoodschool.org or mail to: 5810 Prescott Road, Soquel, CA USA 95073

We are an FPMT affiliated program and the pilot school for Creating Compassionate Cultures

Bill Bolloten


Bill Bolloten has kindly agreed to allow us to publish his monthly digest
The Prevent duty, 'extremism' and 'radicalisation' PRESS AND COMMENTARY DIGEST, April 2016 on our website.
Many thanks to Bill for all the hard work in compiling the list.

peaceful Schools conference

LEARNING THROUGH PEACE | National Conference for primary Schools

24/06/16 | Friends House, 173 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BJ
Developing Whole School Values and Outstanding SMSC

  • This conference will focus on how to build a peaceful school community in
    which all pupils and staff can flourish.
  • Come and gain information and inspiration from Beacon Peaceful primary
  • Share experiences about making whole school values come alive and
    developing SMSC across your school.

For: Head Teachers, Deputy and Assistant Head Teachers and school staff involved in SMSC, PSHCE, RE and Inclusion. School governors and others who support or work with schools are also welcome.
Download the flyer

Bill Bolloten
meditatio centre


Birmingham faith gallery


A new gallery is opening on the 5th February at Birmingham Museum and Art gallery exploring faith in the city. Entry is free.

Discover the many faiths that make up Birmingham's rich and diverse communities. Objects on display include the Birmingham Qur'an – one of the oldest surviving copies of the Qur'an in the world (on display from 5 Feb until 3 Aug 2016).
Download the poster

IEC conference 2014

Birmingham Conversations – Positive interfaith dialogue

During December 2015, we ran a series of workshops that were delivered with three local schools in Handsworth Wood, to discuss local matters that affect them and why? The schools involved were at Holyhead Academy, Nishkam Primary School and Nishkam Secondary School.

The workshops were funded by the Near Neighbours scheme as a continuation of our local partnership with St Andrews Church.

In the attached report there is a concise collection of what matters/issues pupils shared and their evaluation of the session. Schools who agreed to participate in the workshops were also able to engage pupils in a WW1 theatre production 'All Our Heroes' which 3 schools took up.
No of Pupils engaged: 385
Read the full report

Make a noise about bullying

Birmingham Anti-Bullying Conference
for Education 2015

As part of BRAG (Birmingham Bullying Reduction Action Group), We lead on the creative activities during the morning of the conference for pupils, for Anti-bullying week. These are theatre based activities that engage pupils to share, discuss and perform messages of anti-bullying to their peers. Pupils from 4 Birmingham schools attended this year. These were Parkfield Community School, Erdington Hall Primary School, Colmore Juniors School, Aston Manor Academy and Kingsbury Secondary.
You can watch the clip from the morning of the conference

During Spring Term 2016, we will set up an Arts Anti-bullying network with a view to secure funds to have a wider delivery programme for Anti-bullying week 2016.

No outsiders project

No Outsiders project – Parkfield Community School

In October 2015 Parkfield Community School began working with CoEd Foundation. The project was funded by BRAG (Birmingham Bullying Reduction Action Group), Birmingham Pride Community Trust and Parkfield Community School.

The project worked with children in Year 5, delivering workshops over four weeks to explore compassion in Islamic teachings. The workshops explored and celebrated how Muslims are required to be respectful, compassionate, tolerant, forgiving, patient, loving and understanding towards fellow humans. The aim was to promote the No Outsiders ethos and community cohesion with a focus on how faith can support all equalities.
The full project has been forwarded as a Case Study to Stonewall of good practice.

No of Pupils engaged: Year 5 = 120
Read the full report

Compassionate wellbeing

Compassionate Wellbeing Conference

Compassionate Wellbeing Newsletter, November 2015 - an excerpt
Compassionate Wellbeing held their first conference, on Spirituality and Wellbeing, in Derby a couple of weekends ago - and what a conference it was! Thanks to the inspiring wealth of knowledge shared by our speakers, there was plenty of food for thought to savour. Recordings of the talks will be available shortly, and will be free to view for our members. To see abstracts and speaker biographies, please click here.

As the conference came to a close, it felt like there were still so many more avenues to explore and continue discussing, so I'm delighted to announce that we are currently finalising plans for three more conferences in 2016/7.

The current working titles for these are:
Spirituality and Wellbeing: The role of community, experience and practice (to be held in York)
Toward Building More Compassionate Societies (venue TBC)
Compassion Practice in Healthcare (to be held in Derby)

If you'd like to be involved in any of these conferences please feel free to email compassion_well@hotmail.co.uk. More information, and calls for submissions, will follow early next year.

Make a noise about bullying

Make a Noise about Bullying!!!
Anti-bullying week conference 2015

The CoED Foundation has been supporting the Bullying Reduction Action Group at Birmingham City Council this year and will be leading on delivering the creative art activities with pupils at this year's conference, due to take place at The Birmingham City Council House on Friday 20th November 2015.

We have been working closely with Parkfield Community School to deliver 'Compassion and Storytelling' workshops with Year 5 pupils to develop their character. They will be joining pupils from Erdington Hall , Colmore Juniors school, Aston Manor Academy, Kingsbury High School and Starbank Academy at the Anti-bullying conference for the morning session. Our artists will be delivering theatre based workshops to engage pupils to tackle bullying in a series of activities.

See the Anti-bullying message from Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council here:

If your school would like us to support your Anti-bullying agenda through consultation and creative arts projects, then please contact our Education & Arts Manager, Rabiyah K Latif on rabiyah@coedfoundation.org.uk for more information.

Towards the Compassionate school

Book Launch and Conferences

Our Autumn term conferences in Leicester, Birmingham, and Manchester will be informing practitioners of our wider services and will include the book launch for Towards the Compassionate School: From Golden Rule to Golden Thread.

'This is a book of signposts, not simple solutions; of pathways, not prescriptions. This is a book which simply, fundamentally argues that unless we change the story of individualism and consumerism that we have bought into for so long, future generations will face almost insurmountable problems. This is a book that empirically, scientifically, morally and spiritually demonstrates that making compassion the key organising principle of education and other systems everywhere, offers hope. This is a book that aims to be visionary and mundane, inspirational and routine, providing the big picture imperatives for change as well as practical suggestions for bringing them into being. This is a book based upon the humblest of all premises: compassion, defined as love in action, provides the meta value which, through the conscious implementation of the Golden Rule (treat others as you would wish to be treated), presents the simplest of operational yardsticks by which schools and society can measure themselves. The book aims to help readers realise that, to quote Einstein, 'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them'. Similarly, it aims to help readers see the world through the prism of compassion, to realise that compassion is a consciousness, a perspective that should permeate everything we do in education; should become our Golden Thread that weaves together curriculum, pedagogy and behaviours.'

Estelle Morris

Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behaviour

How is history shaped by hatred, indifference, and denial, as well as by caring, compassion, and responsibility? Using Facing History's unique methodology, we will explore the range of choices that led to the failure of democracy and ultimately the murder of millions of Jews and other targeted groups. Participants will investigate the complexities of human behaviour, judgment, memory, and how individuals can make a difference in the world today.

In this seminar you will discover new teaching strategies, classroom activities, and multimedia resources to use in the classroom. Upon completion, participants will receive complete access to Facing History's educator resources, including downloadable unit plans, lessons, and online conversations and will become part of the Educator Network with access to videos, DVDs, and books through the lending library. Each participant is assigned a Facing History Programme Associate who is available to provide ongoing support services at no cost.

This seminar is recommended for teachers of history, citizenship, religious education (RE), English, and PSHE teachers and can provide approaches to support the important cross curricular strand of Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural (SMSC) education. This seminar also supports the International Baccalaureate approach to learning in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). Book your place

Estelle Morris

Schools need to be part of a community,
not stand alone

Estelle Morris

The spurious claim, mostly by Conservative MPs, that "local authority control" of schools is still a major problem is as frustrating as it is inaccurate. Where have those who make this claim been for the last 20 years? It's a long time since local councils controlled schools – and rightly so – but the fact that this red herring too often goes unchallenged is more than annoying. It avoids a debate about some far greater challenges to school reform.

I am no defender of poor local authorities. Having been responsible in government for dealing with those that were under-performing, I've seen the best and the worst. Effective authorities were power houses, supporting schools and raising standards, but ineffective authorities sapped the energy of heads and teachers. Over the years there have been far too many that have fallen into the second category, and change was both inevitable and essential.
Read the full article | The Guardian Jan 2015

IEC conference 2014

Near Neighbours award received for Sacred Spaces project

The CoED Foundation has been awarded a Near Neighbours grant to work with pupils in Birmingham. This project engages pupils with select art forms to explore faith spaces used by local communities.

We will use Photography, Film and Storytelling to explore Birmingham sacred spaces for pupils to learn more about their local interfaith heritage. The project will be delivered during the Spring term 2015 with Cherry Orchard Primary school. We will work with 60 pupils from Key stage 2 selected by the school.

Pupils will engage in the selected art forms to:

  • Research and explore local sacred spaces off all community backgrounds in Handsworth.
  • Use the HEART learning model to discuss themes such as Heritage, Environment, Architecture, Rituals, Traditions
  • Research and explore the Spiritual Ley Lines that run through the sacred spaces within the area.

Pupils will work work with their peers on learning about the:

  • Commonalities in local faith communities
  • The history of local sacred spaces

This will lead to a local community exhibition and sharing of the experiences and the stories that the pupils capture through each art form of the Sacred Spaces project.

Baroness Estelle Morris launch of the CoED Foundation CoEd Foundation launch CoEd Foundation launch CoEd Foundation launch


Bringing compassion into teaching and learning

House of Lords | March 2014

In her welcome to the 40 delegates who packed a committee room in the House of Lords in March 2014, Baroness Estelle Morris, the sponsor and a patron of the CoED Foundation spoke for everybody when she argued that, 'in the past, we have always taken compassion in education for granted and assumed we were doing it... and now we must strive to implement it consciously'. How we might achieve this provided the overall theme of the launch. 'She was', she added, 'particularly impressed with the international messages delivered by Professor David Woods,' the Foundation's chairman.

That compassion in education was now a world-wide phenomenon was a reiterated theme of Maurice Irfan Coles, the CEO. He explained the Foundation's short history with its synchronistic links to the Charter for Compassion; outlined the incredible high profile support it had already attracted; and provided the rationale for changing 'the dominant existing education paradigm from one based upon competiveness and individualism, to one based on service and collaboration'.

There were, he argued, twelve strategic imperatives which made paradigm change essential for the long term survival of our planet, and thus for the future of our young people. Citing knowledge gained from science and neuroscience about climate change and the innate human capacity for compassion and spirituality, he maintained that an effective education system must be based upon both the affective and the cognitive; and that compassionate development not only boosts cognitive development but enhances mental and physical wellbeing and long term employability.

The Foundation defined compassion simply as, 'love in action', but detailed over 20 key characteristics of the compassionate young person. Compassionate education was predicated upon the 5Cs: compassionate consciousness, compassionate culture, compassionate action and compassion curriculum. Professor Mick Waters, the Foundation's Vice-Chair, in his heartfelt presentation replete with anecdotes and pictures of young people, outlined the content of such a curriculum, strongly arguing for its universality. A compassionate curriculum was, he maintained, less easy to measure than maths, science or art but the point was not that it is measured; but that it is offered. A compassionate curriculum would enhance pupils' sense of integrity and 'help build a better world for all rather than an examination certificate for each'.

Let the last word, however, rest with one attendee, Ian Fenn, Headteacher of Burnage College in Manchester, who one week after the launch wrote:

'The ideas of CoED... have had an immediate impact upon my thinking and are already part of our curriculum statement. My job is now to seek to deliver it to every child whose education has been entrusted to me'.

That, perhaps, is CoED's message for us all.

Photos: Click to Shoot film and photography