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UK: Government praises academic achievements at Maharishi Free School, Lancashire
by Global Good News staff writer
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10 December 2011
The goal of the Maharishi School Trust in the UK to open two new free schools was recently reported on in the Times Educational Supplement (TES). The TES is the largest network of teachers in the world. According to its website, it is 'dedicated to driving up standards in education'.
The title of the article is 'Maharishi hopes DfE lets it be for school No. 3'. DfE is an abbreviation for the British Department for Education.
The article begins, 'It is practised by talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, film director David Lynch and comedian Russell Brand and was made famous by the Beatles in the 1960s. Now plans are being developed to extend the influence of Transcendental Meditation in England by expanding the number of state-funded schools run by its practitioners to three.'
The article mentions the success of the existing Maharishi Free School in Lancashire.
'Earlier this year, the DfE accepted a bid by the country's only Maharishi school, which teaches 135 four to 16-year-olds, to become a free school, 25 years after it was first set up in Lancashire with private funds. Now Maharishi School Trust trustee Richard Scott wants to open schools in London and Suffolk by 2013.
'Mr Scott told TES that the Richmond school will cater for four to 18-year-olds and is expected to teach more than 100 children. (Richmond is a borough of London.)
' ''We feel pretty confident about our bid because of our academic record. Transcendental Meditation makes the children receptive; it makes their mind clear and they do well at school,'' he said.'
So far, the reception has been very positive. The article includes a quote from a member of the Department for Education.
''Free schools are free to decide the teaching methods that best fit with the ethos of their school,' a DfE spokesman said, adding that, based on Ofsted reports and GCSE results,* the Maharishi School's academic achievements were among the highest in Lancashire.
'And if the results are improving,' the article concluded, 'civil servants will always be happy. Three may just be the beginning, it would seem.'
* Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education; GCSE is the General Certificate of Secondary Education examination.
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