Fury as Schools Hypnotise Their Pupils to Boost Exams Results

Article excerpt

Byline: GLEN OWEN

SCHOOLS were condemned last night for 'hypnotising' pupils to boost their exam results.

Teachers branded the technique, being used by more than 40 schools, 'dangerous and cult-like'.

During the sessions, pupils are coaxed by teachers specially trained in relaxation exercises into imagining they are a character in a story or have gone back in time.

One visualisation involves looking into the eyes of an owl 'who will impart ancient wisdom to you'. At the end of each session, the teacher in charge counts down from five to one to snap pupils out of their 'trance'.

A spokesman for Christian Watch said last night: 'It is extremely worrying that pupils are being exposed to this form of hypnosis - they are messing with children's minds.' Experts say there is no accepted scientific definition of hypnosis,

which covers a wide spectrum of states of mental susceptibility.

James Dakin, company director of Teaching Freedom which created the sessions, claims the exercises improve memory. He has trained more than 200 teachers in Leeds at a cost of [pounds sterling]90,000 to the local authority.

But one concerned teacher, who attended a course, said: 'I asked the course leader if we were working with pupils' subconscious minds. …