Press coverage – Teach Middle East

How Social-Emotional Learning Can Contribute to Better Academic Outcomes in Secondary Schools


By Pete Read, CEO & Founder, Persona Education

Barriers to social-emotional learning: For many secondary schools in the Middle East and elsewhere, social-emotional learning (SEL) has traditionally been seen as something of an add-on. Not examined, not mandated nor compulsory, prioritising SEL is often difficult for secondary schools faced with three major barriers.

1. Curriculum planning prioritises exam subjects because these produce measurable results that are easily understood by educators, parents, students, inspectors and policy-makers alike.

2. In many schools teachers are already stretched, and teacher workload needs to be reduced, not increased. Asking teachers who are not SEL or PSHE specialists, but might teach anything from chemistry to modern foreign languages, to deliver SEL puts an extra unwelcome burden of work on them.

3. Schools know at heart that SEL is important, and therefore do deliver it, but most teachers asked to make that happen are non-specialists with no training in teaching PSHE or delivering social-emotional skills development. Not ideal for the student recipients, as quality of SEL teaching can end up being very mixed.

Read the full article (please turn to p16)

Teach Middle East

Image: Teach Middle East


About Persona Education Ltd

Persona Education is a UK based edtech start-up developing life skills solutions for secondary students and educational institutions. Its web and mobile e-learning apps are built around a scientifically proven personality insights framework, that is social, practical and memorable. For further information contact or +44 (0)117 313 2897.

About Persona Life Skills

Persona Life Skills is an e-learning platform for schools and colleges that uses personality insights to help teenagers navigate their life journey. The scaffolded, age appropriate curriculum guides students in building 22 life skills that map to Ofsted, ISI, Skills Builder, IB Learner Profile, AS Tracking, VIA Character and Gatsby benchmarks. For further information contact or +44 (0)117 313 2897.

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