Compassion Matters - Supporting compassionate learners

The Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion is a nonpartisan and non-religious initiative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. With a mission to advance our understanding of compassion and related values, the DLCC is an ethics research and education centre which has been working with some of the UK’s foremost thinkers since 2014. Since 2017, the DLCC has concentrated on compassion in schools via its education project: Compassion Matters

Compassion Matters provides a basis for children to explore ethical ideas about compassion and its related concepts. At the heart of the project, children explore ideas which are universal to all human beings such as; Where does happiness come from? How is failing part of learning? What is true courage? What is a just society? All of these ideas are inspired by the work of our organisation's patron His Holiness the Dalai Lama and drawn from examples from philosophers and thinkers from a wide variety of faiths, traditions and backgrounds.

Compassion Matters consists of a five-module course which covers the topics of Compassion, Courage, Happiness, Wisdom and Justice.  Each module includes an inspiring short film which tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary person. Also, there are lesson plans, worksheets and reading lists offering 5/6 lessons worth of materials. Compassion Matters is free and web-based ensuring that schools, educators and children can benefit regardless of location, experience or financial means.

Our project is built on research from the UK and an educational framework developed by our partners at Emory University’s Centre for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics. Children who participate in shown that the project has positively impacted on children's social skills while helping to lessen negative behaviour. The project enables children to develop deeper knowledge and skills in areas such as self-compassion, compassion for others, self-regulation and the ability to build and sustain positive relationships.

Compassion Matters was designed to support relationship and health education guidance from the Department for Education covering respectful relationships, being safe and mental health. Compassion Matters also helps schools to meet the new Ofsted inspect framework published September 2019 specifically sections related to personal development, behaviours and attitudes. Further details can found here.

Through exploring and developing these ideas and skills, we believe that children have the opportunity to head into their future with compassion and kindness as the basis of their thoughts and actions. Children will develop the mindset and skills for managing the challenges in their present and future, while also gaining the ability to cherish and appreciate life's gifts.  

You can sign up for your school to receive free Compassion Matters learning resources at If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at