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TM school among England’s new “Free School” pioneers

Maharishi School ranks amongst the top 2.5% of all schools in the UK.

Maharishi School in Lancashire has been granted “Free School” status by the UK’s Department for Education, joining 23 other new state-maintained primary, secondary and all-age schools in England.

Free Schools are part of the British government’s new initiative to raise school standards across the country and tackle educational disadvantage.

The new Free Schools, funded by the government, have greater freedoms than local authority-run schools: They are run by teachers–not local councils–and have freedom over such key educational components as the length of the school day, curriculum content, and how money is spent.

Demand from parents for a unique, new type of education for students and families spurred the launch of the Free Schools.

The UK Department for Education reported that “over the past ten years the gulf in achievement between the rich and the poor has widened and the attainment gap between fee-paying schools and state schools has doubled.” Free Schools are part of the government’s strategy to narrow that attainment gap.

UK's Education Secretary, Michael Gove

According to the UK’s Education Secretary, Michael Gove, “The most important thing for any parent is to be able to send their child to a good local school with high standards and strong discipline. That is why we are opening Free Schools across the country.”

“Too many children,” Mr Gove said, “are being failed by fundamental flaws in our education system. By freeing up teachers and trusting local communities to decide what is best, our reforms will help to raise standards for children in all schools.”

Although Maharishi School has a non-selective academic entrance policy, the School has been rated “Outstanding”—the top category used by Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, an independent organization which reports directly to Parliament.

As Ofsted reported: “The School’s focus on individuals and its use of meditation and the quest for balance underpins all that it does. Students are calm, confident, self-assured, polite and considerate. They are eager to acquire knowledge and skills and enjoy learning.”

In addition, Maharishi School’s GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) examination results rank the School not only amongst the highest in Lancashire, but also in the top 2.5% of all schools nationally. These results have been consistent since Maharishi School opened 25 years ago.

Lord Hill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools

According to Schools Minister Lord Hill, “Maharishi School has long achieved outstanding results for its pupils and has been imaginative in its approach to raising standards. I am delighted that the education provided by this school will now be available for free to local young people. I wish the school every success.”

Maharishi School Head Teacher, Dr. Derek Cassells, commented that the School’s exceptional results are due primarily to its implementation of “Consciousness-Based Education,” which incorporates the the Transcendental Meditation program to achieve balance in the pupil’s physiology, and complements the School’s traditional, broad, and balanced curriculum.

Maharishi School Head Teacher, Dr. Derek Cassells

Dr. Cassells explained that “Consciousness-based Education directly develops receptivity, intelligence, creativity, neurophysiological integration, and better health in all students irrespective of their background, faith, attitudes, gender, or abilities. This is because the quality of the students’ awareness is fundamental to successful educational outcomes.

“Likewise, all of the teachers at the School benefit tremendously from their morning and evening practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique which gives them the relaxation and alertness to manage every class effectively. It is these benefits for pupils and teachers that are inspiring schools all over the world to introduce Consciousness-based Education,” Dr. Cassells said.

Maharishi School graduate, Ben Cross, who is currently doing post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, commented, “I attended Maharishi School my entire school life and wouldn’t change a day of it.”

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Currently schools and universities in 50 countries, totalling hundreds of thousands of students, have begun including the practice of Transcendental Meditation as part of their curriculum. Maharishi School and Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, are considered pioneers of Consciousness-Based Education in the United States.

Web references:

http://www.maharishischool.com

www.maharishischooliowa.org

www.mum.edu

www.tmeducation.org

http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/schools.html

For the British Department of Education description of the Free School program see:
http://www.education.gov.uk/freeschools/b0066077/free-school-proposals