'Soft' Schoolkids To Be Taught How To Toughen Up By Specially Trained Teachers

16/02/2012 12:05 | Updated 22 May 2015
The cotton wool generation of "soft" schoolkids are to be taught how to toughen up because they don't know how to cope with failure.

Headteachers said teenagers had been overprotected and now face unprecedented difficulties because of austerity Britain.

"Bounce back" experts will train teachers from 60 schools.

Chris Jones, Founding Director of the Young Foundation's Resilience project, which is running the teacher training, said pupils need to learn about failure now more than ever.

"In the past we probably had a harder life in some respects. We didn't take things for granted," he said.

Dr Helen Wright, head of St Mary's Calne school in Wiltshire, said teenagers were leaving school unable to fend for themselves.

"There is a danger that we wrap our children in cotton wool, we have become less tolerant of risk-taking," she said.

She added that schools were banning the type of activities that increase pupils' resilience - such as playing with conkers or in the snow.

"If these silly rules persist, we will be bringing up a generation of fearful children," she said.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: "Failure can happen to anyone, and pupils need to cope and learn from it. The most successful entrepreneurs often failed many times, but it didn't stop their drive."

Learning to live with mistakes:

• The resilience training course lasts for eight hours and costs £195.

• It is based on positive psychology and cognitive behavioural therapy, the most widely applied treatment for emotional problems.

• Teachers will instill resilience in pupils aged five to 15 by encouraging optimistic thinking and managing emotions.

• Teachers will show pupils how to make and keep friends, to set goals and to value honesty and respect.

• They will learn not to be happy with failure but to accept it and learn from their mistakes.

• For more, visit

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