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UK: Positive press, local support greet new state funded Maharishi Free School
Transcendental Meditation News - UK Translate This Article
9 September 2011
The announcement a few weeks ago that Maharishi School in West Lancashire, England—Britain's only school offering Consciousness Based Education—had been awarded Free School status met with strong support from local parents and positive coverage in the news media.
The School, which has a 25-year record of educational excellence, recently opened its doors for the new school year as Maharishi Free School.
Please also see Part I of this article.
Requirements for qualifying as a Free School are rigorous.
''We've spent a year showing the Department of Education that we meet and exceed all the standards that they expect,'' explained Cassells. ''Plus, for this particular school, we have a 25-year record of excellence.''
Local parents, well aware of the school's record of academic excellence and the personal development of pupils, have caused the new year's intake to be over-subscribed. 140 local parents and children have learned Transcendental Meditation in preparation for the new term, with many families saying that they have wanted their children to attend the school for years, but until now have been unable to afford it.
Headteacher Derek Cassells: ''We have
a 25-year record of excellence.''
The Maharishi Free School will have 134 pupils this year, rising to 180 in two years time.
Although criticised by Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, who told local newspapers that ''people will be shocked that their taxes are going on teaching Transcendental Meditation,'' the new Maharishi Free School status is widely approved in the region, with a poll run by the Liverpool Echo revealing 70% in favour.
And the Liverpool Post responded with a feature headlined ''Let's give children free space to spread their wings and fly, Lisa!''
''I'm a taxpayer, and I am not shocked. Nor am I angry,'' announced the feature writer.
''To my untrained (and indeed un-transcended) brain, the idea of timetabling meditation and yoga into the school day seems entirely sensible . . . as life skills go, meditation is arguably more useful than certain mainstream subjects.''
''And,'' clarified Cassells, ''no government money is funding the teaching of Transcendental Meditation.'' He added that Lancashire County Council had gone on record to say that local schools would not be affected.
Source: Acclaimed Lancashire school wins Free School status on T-M.org.uk, the official website for the Transcendental Meditation Programme in the United Kingdom.
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© Copyright 2011 Transcendental Meditation News – United Kingdom
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