The Head Teacher of Maharishi School in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, has announced that the School has been granted Free School status by the Department for Education, proudly joining other state-maintained schools in England.
Last year the 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.” Maharishi Free School hopes to narrow that attainment gulf.
In spite of Maharishi School being completely non-selective academically, the School has achieved the top category of “Outstanding” in reports by the Government inspectorate of schools, Ofsted, and the School’s GCSE examination results rank the School not only amongst the highest in the county of Lancashire, but also in the top 2.5% of all schools nationally. These results have been consistent since the School opened 25 years ago.
According to Dr Cassells, the School’s exceptional results are due primarily to its implementation of Consciousness-based Education, which uses the daily practice of Transcendental Meditation (as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) to achieve balance in the pupil’s physiology and perfectly complements the traditional, broad and balanced curriculum at the School. The pupils’ instruction fees for learning Transcendental Meditation are sponsored by a charity, and are not funded out of the School’s budget. 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. ”Dr Cassells explains: “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 Transcendental Meditation, 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.”
Currently schools and universities in 50 countries, totalling over 200,000 pupils, include the students’ practice of Transcendental Meditation as part of their curriculum.
Peer-reviewed, published research substantiates the benefits for students and teachers. Studies show that children not only perform better academically, they also enjoy school more and become happier, more balanced individuals (see details of studies below). These findings reflect a fundamental concept of Consciousness-based Education, “knowledge is structured in consciousness”: how much and how deeply one is able to learn, and how effectively one applies what one has learned, depends on the quality of one’s awareness—how alert one is. Dr Cassells is looking forward to participating in the community of schools in the UK and worldwide, and would welcome the opportunity to receive colleagues from schools who are interested in finding out more about Consciousness-based Education. “Based on what I’ve observed with thousands of pupils and dozens of teachers in the past 24 years, it is clear that Consciousness-based Education is unique in its effectiveness in systematically developing the mental and physical potential of every student. One sees them grow in the ability to fulfil their own desires while contributing to the good of everyone around them,” Dr Cassells said. “There are also many studies showing that large groups practising Transcendental Meditation have beneficial effects on the quality of life in the whole society.”
For more information see: www.maharishischool.com
Note in particular the short video about Maharishi School on the home page, with interviews from pupils, teachers and parents.
For additional information on the scientific research visit:
For the Department of Education description of the Free School programme see:
Contact Head Teacher Dr Derek Cassells at Maharishi School:
+44 1695 729912 (out of hours: +44 7944 909 075)
What pupils, parents, and teachers say:
Former pupil of Maharishi School:
“I am now doing post-doctoral work at Cambridge University. I attended Maharishi School my entire school life and wouldn’t change a day of it.”
Parent of pupil at Maharishi School:
“My son was bullied at the school he was at previously. Since coming to Maharishi School he has thrived in an atmosphere where differences are appreciated and children are supportive of one another.”
Former teacher at Maharishi School:
“I could not have imagined it from my teaching experience in previous schools, but I actually feel better at the end of a school day than at the start, and look forward to coming in on Monday mornings!”
The following are just four of the peer-reviewed, published studies on the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in education, out of the more than two hundred studies published on the beneficial effects of Transcendental Meditation in the development of full mental potential and improvements in self-actualisation and good behaviour:
1) So, K.T. Orme-Johnson, D.W. (2001). Three randomized experiments on the longitudinal effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on cognition; Intelligence, Vol. 29/5, pp. 419-440.
Summary: Three randomised studies on secondary school students in Taiwan were published in Intelligence (the leading journal in this field). All three studies found that the students who learned TM experienced a significant improvement in all areas measured including:
a) whole-brain creativity
b) practical intelligence
c) field independence
d) state and trait anxiety
e) speed of sensory info processing
f) fluid intelligence
2) Barnes V., Bauza L.B., Treiber F.A. (2003). Impact of stress reduction on negative school behaviour in adolescents; Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1:10. Summary: A randomised study of at-risk African American adolescents in Georgia USA, found that 4 months of TM practice significantly reduced absenteeism, rule infractions and suspension from school.
3) Nidich S.I., Nidich R. J. (1989) Increased Academic Achievement at Maharishi School: a replication study. Education 107: 49-54. 146
Summary: On entry to the Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, 37 new pupils’ composite score in the Iowa Test of Basic Skills resulted in their ranking as 51st percentile rating them as of ‘average ability’. At the end of one year at the Maharishi School the pupils score had improved by 15 percentiles to the 66th percentile. This was a replication of a previous study, also published in the journal Education which found very similar results.
4) Nidich S.I., et al. (2011). Academic achievement and Transcendental Meditation: A study with at-risk urban middle school students. Education 131: 556-564.
Summary: Middle school students who learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme and practised it twice daily as part of the school day were found to increase significantly after three months in achievement scores on mathematics and language (English) in comparison to control students matched on previous mathematics and English performance level scores.
“Over the past 10 years the editors and reviewers of the International Journal of Neuroscience have accepted several papers on Transcendental Meditation because they have met the rigorous standards of scientific publication. IJN is honoured to have two Nobel laureates on its editorial board, and has a distinguished group of scientists from leading universities on every continent who judge the scientific value of the papers submitted for consideration.”
—Dr Sidney Weinstein, former Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Neuroscience