Set up by Barnardos, Paths Plus programme seeks to empower children to develop the fundamental social & emotional learning skills to make positive choices throughout life.


Realising Ambition funded Paths Plus, which is a UK wide initiative founded to help young people fulfil their potential and avoid pathways into offending. Realising Ambition has recognised the evidence of what works in helping young people to not enter into crime and patterned behaviour learnt from their backgrounds.


The Big lottery Fund backed Realising Ambition with 25 million in 2012.

Social emotional learning (SEL) is an important background to Paths and is defined by as :-


“the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and mange emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.”


SEL is fundamental for children and young people to learn to interact effectively with others and develop personally with positive well-being. If SEL skills are taught from a young age, risky behaviours can be reduced or prevented.


PATHS Plus promotes social emotional learning and well-being in primary school children.

It comprises of two programmes.



PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) which is a social and emotional learning programme for primary schools focusing on


Emotional understanding

Positive self-esteem


Interpersonal problem-solving skills



Friendship Group

This programme is for children having social problems such as conflict or isolation with peers or feelings of insecurity, the group offers children the opportunity to learn and practice social skills in a small support group.


Combining these two programmes allows PATHS Plus to target children with emotional, behavioural or social problems


Evidence shows that PATHS Plus is having a positive impact across the UK and the results are fairly consistent that it is an effective tool to use in classrooms.