South Lanarkshire

Massage In Schools in South Lanarkshire Council
– What’s been happening lately?

Well, MISP is still going strong in South Lanarkshire Council. The majority of schools in the authority have now had someone in their establishment trained and are even managing to get second and third members of staff onto the course (and sometimes more!)

The next exciting development is that nurseries are getting interested in this fantastic programme too! We have already had nursery nurses on some of the past SLC training courses and so last year, due to demand, we ran our first training course aimed solely at staff working in nurseries. MISP can be done with children from 4 years upwards, so it’s a great programme to use with children in their pre-school year. Not only do the children benefit from participating in massage while at nursery, but when they come to start school, it eases the transition for many as the schools they go to are very often using MISP too!

Training offered this year will be extended to include as many nursery establishments as possible. My own experience as a trainer when working with the nursery staff was fantastic – they gave me so many new ideas for songs and games to use within the context of massage that I came away feeling refreshed and enthused. I was invited to visit some of the nurseries where they were doing MISP and it was such an enjoyable experience. My advice to anyone is to make sure they experience small children doing the massage programme – they are wonderful to watch!

South Lanarkshire celebrate the Massage in Schools Programme!


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A great day was had by all recently at our celebration of Massage In Schools. The programme was first introduced by Integrated children’s Services in South Lanarkshire Council over 5 years ago and has gone from strength to strength, particularly with support from Community Regeneration.

Over 130 staff and pupils from 35 schools came along to our celebration event in the banqueting hall at SLC’s headquarters in June. During the course of the morning we had presentations on what we have been doing with the programme in South Lanarkshire as well as how the programme is being used around the world (from Japan to France to Australia and many more!). Isobel MacDougall (Head of Area) and Pauline Vallance (MISP trainer) presented certificates to those in attendance and this was followed by everyone taking part in the massage routine together. Quite a sight to see 130 people all doing the massage strokes at the same time!

Out of 124 primary schools in SLC….

  • 89 have accessed the programme through either their own staff going on the training or an associated partner such as school nurse, family support worker etc
  • 2 stand alone early years establishments have accessed the training
  • 70 schools in total (including a handful of nurseries) are currently implementing MISP

Key benefits are:

  • Children have improved concentration
  • Children become calmer
  • Ability to recognise “good” and “bad” touch
  • Respect for themselves and others
  • Encourages self esteem and confidence
  • A reduction in bullying and aggression
  • Helps develop motor skills
  • Children can use their new skills at home – quality family time!
  • Can be used to teach various aspects of the curriculum

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