U&K Schools

Mandy Leadbitter (United Carlton) pictured with finalists Evie McMorrow, Charlotte Williamson and Elle Van Der Merwe

Mandy Leadbitter (United Carlton) pictured with finalists Evie McMorrow, Charlotte Williamson and Elle Van Der Merwe

Overall Winner: Cerys Peat

Overall Winner: Cerys Peat

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Education Trust rewards #UsefulandKind actions of children through their Annual Star Awards sponsored by Vision for Education

Children and young people in North Tyneside Learning Trust schools have been demonstrating that even the very youngest members of our society have the capacity to be ‘Useful and Kind’.  

North Tyneside Learning Trust Star Awards 2017 included a new ‘Useful and Kind’ Award category established ‘to recognise a child or young person who strives every day to be useful and kind’. The four finalists all demonstrate the difference an individual can make by simply being Useful and Kind. 

Evie McMorrow, Year 5 pupil at Redesdale Primary School   

Evie provides help and support on a daily basis to a fellow pupil in her class with Downs Syndrome in an inclusive, caring and thoughtful way. Evie was nominated by her Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant both of whom very much value Evie’s daily intervention. 

Charlotte Williamson, Year 7 Student at Churchill Community College

Charlotte is a Young Carer and uses personal experience to recognise the support needs of other children in school. Charlotte demonstrated her natural inclination for being Useful and Kind by supporting Year 6 primary school children moving to Churchill Community College – a move she had made the previous year.

Elle Van Der Merwe, Year 7 Student at Valley Gardens Middle School

Everyday after school, Elle collects and delivers a newspaper to her elderly neighbour providing some much needed contact for someone in the community who might otherwise not speak or see anyone else all day. Elle does this ‘just to be helpful’

Cerys Peat, Year 10 Student at Whitley Bay High School

Cerys supports Silverline, a dementia organisation by volunteering at weekends and during the holidays to enrich the lives of people with dementia. This includes helping to run a community café, supporting fundraising and awareness events and even dancing with elderly people with dementia at Tea Parties. Cerys was selected as the overall award winner because her Useful and Kind actions demonstrate maturity and understanding well beyond her years. 


A school and its people are essential to the growth and learning of a community. They are a vibrant part of community life now and inform its future by the values, focus, learning and way of being, modelled by governors, staff and pupils.

This project aims to look at ways in which schools can be the agents for the prosocial change so needed if we are to act collaboratively to make the world a better place.

Prosocial behaviour refers to values and actions that are useful and kind to self, others, groups, and the world.  We want to discover how schools are helping to promote this important message amongst young people. This short survey will take no more than five minutes to complete, but your response could help us to shape future education interventions: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RTBGHJR

Are trainee teachers encouraged to consider prosocial behaviour when planning lessons? Is there a whole school approach to promoting usefulness and kindness amongst students? Are there individual teachers already working hard to promote prosocial behaviour in their classrooms? 

We hope that this short survey can help us to celebrate those who are already striving to promote the prosocial message, and to identify how and where Useful and Kind Unlimited might be able to help.

Schools face myriad pressures: time, resource, legislation, ever-changing political direction, additional initiatives, testing, inspection and many more. How can schools be more Useful & Kind? How can they model and develop prosocial leadership, where generosity and kindness are at the heart of what they do? What does this mean for governance, staff development, engagement with the Third Sector and international aspiration?

Some questions we are exploring:

  • What is the best way to develop kindness and prosocial leadership in schools?
  • How can you create Useful and Kind leadership, management, values and activities in a school community?
  • What is the neuroscience behind kindness?
  • How can we better engage with our communities to be useful and kind?
  • How can we develop empathy, compassion and action?
  • How best can we be socially engaged to make a better world?
  • What can we learn from key historic prosocial leaders?
  • How can we evaluate the outcomes of our prosocial behaviour.

Those helping us:

  • Catriona Stewart, Head, Kingsmead Community Primary School, Cheshire
  • Chris Jeffrey, Head, Bootham School, Quaker Foundation School, York    
  • David Bryan, Governor, Dunraven School, Lambeth
  • Lauren Holmes, U&K Education researcher
  • Maggie Farrar, International Education Consultant


Our first project with young prosocial leaders will be a week-long residential personal and leadership development programme for young prosocial leaders (Year 11) at Bootham School, York in July 2018.

Thirty young people will be drawn from our hubs in Bristol, Merseyside and the North East.

programme aims to

  • support, sustain, nurture, challenge and develop a group of young prosocial leaders 
  • help young people who want to develop their prosocial leadership and are considering a life of prosocial work and leadership
  • select and work with up to thirty year 11s annually
  • train, support, develop and mentor them (in their regions)
  • develop the ideas and practice of prosocial leadership 
  • model practical outcomes from being Useful and Kind
  • develop pro-social leadership: awareness, ideas, research, debate and practice which can lead to a better, fairer more sustainable future
  • work in collaboration and partnership with others
  • be a value-led, effective, efficient, caring and sustainable partner
  • stimulate a cross-sector collaborative learning culture


  • run a week-long summer development programme combining, training, mentoring, residential and practical work
  • align the work to leadership in four key areas (SDGs) of: health, education, inequality and poverty eradication
  • engage participants in practical prosocial leadership projects in York and their own communities
  • develop potential prosocialleaders in reflective, mindful, value-led, sustainable, psychologically informed and intelligent leadership
  • help young prosocial leaders develop the skills and behaviours needed to help them achieve a better world (leadership, communication, social media, campaigning, finance.)

The project will draw on:

  • ideas from the Useful & Kind network of prosocial leaders
  • leadership theory and development
  • practical projects in the York community and ongoing work in the participants’ own communities 
  • the work, research and practice, of the Mindful Leadership Foundation
  • prosocial behaviour
  • social psychology
  • therapeutic approaches
  • mindful leadership
  • behavioural psychology

The Participants

Each participant will have already demonstrated outstanding prosocial leadership in school and community activities. We are looking for people who have wanted to do something to help others and got on and done it.

We will be announcing more details of the project at the end of 2017.

Please join us (contact)