Our Story

In 2017-18, we piloted our first three modules with three schools including our development partner, the Dragon School, Oxford. We were delighted with the impact that our learning resources had on the children, teachers, parents and the wider school community. Our learning resources have been developed by leading researchers, teachers, educational researchers and publishers. We have worked to ensure that our materials are driven by schools requirements and are research informed and of the highest quality. You can find out more about the evidence for how compassion can positively impact on wellbeing and the rationale for the project here.

Since our wider launch in September 2018, Compassion Matters (CM) has partnered with a wide range of schools in the state, independent, special education needs and international sectors. While being universally available, CM prioritises schools and individuals facing social and/or economic disadvantage.

More than half of the schools participating in CM during 2018-19 record over the national average number of children cohort as in receipt of free school meals or serve communities with significant educational, social or economic disadvantage. By providing our project at no cost to schools; we can bring the project’s benefit to children regardless of their background.

CM works with educational charities and organisations who support the most disadvantaged children in society. Working in partnership allows CM to benefit those in the most need and with fewest opportunities to access learning opportunities.

In January 2019, Dulwich Prep, a school based in South London, worked with the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion to bring the centre’s Compassion Matters ethics and values education project to the school. The following video explores the children and teachers experiences of the project.

We were delighted with feedback we have received from schools receiving high scores for the projects accessibility, relevance and impact. Feedback gathered by an external researcher has shown that the project has positively impacted on children’s social skills while helping to lessen negative behaviour.

We have been fortunate to work with a number of schools who offered us the opportunity to carry out deeper explorations of the projects impact on children, teachers and schools. Below is an extract from a case study developed with two schools in Stoke on Trent who we worked with in early 2019 to support the development of greater social cohesion and pro-social behaviour in the schools.

Sun Academy and Star Academy, Stoke on Trent


Here at SUN Academy, Year 6 has just finished the fourth lesson on Compassion. Richard’s story had a profound effect on their outlook, especially the clear message of empathy and action. There was a much-improved level of concentration and focus in our PSHE lessons as a result off using these resources, and we will produce a hall display using them. The children have a much-improved level of empathy with each other and as a result, far fewer disagreements, especially at break times.

Iain Macdonald, Head of Academy, Sun Academy

In January 2019, Compassion Matters partnered with two schools in Stoke on Trent; The Sun Academy and The Star Academy both part of the Action Academy Trust. The schools approached Compassion Matters, having struggled to find high-quality materials to use to support PSHE and personal development lesson and a desire to develop a renewed focus on children’s well-being. Both schools serve communities facing significant challenges in terms of engagement with education and economic opportunities with both schools having over the national average number of children in receipt of free schools meals in their cohorts.

During our initial consultation with the schools, the teachers indicated significant challenges with the children’s social cohesion in and outside of the classroom leading to a problematic learning environment and confrontations between children often escalating to parents becoming involved. The schools wished to see children develop greater empathy, emotional regulation and social awareness during the project.

We worked with the two schools to support the running of our curriculum with 120 children during the spring term. Children explored our compassion module, which explores concepts such as empathy, the consequences of compassion and compassionate action. The lessons explore a deeper understanding of what compassion is, our emotional reactions and support children to see effective models for compassionate action. We worked together with the school to focus on compassionate action using recognition and reflection tools, such as wall charts and journals, developed in partnership with the schools year six teachers.

Our Theory of Change infographic below explains the process and outcomes for participating schools and education charities. 

A project from the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion

33 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LD