The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Staff wellbeing

John Dabell

How to recharge your teaching batteries

Summer is a welcome break for even the most resilient school leader. But when you get your life back, what do you do with it? Did the end of term leave you quanked, forswunk, and ramfeezled? Has your mojo run off and left your body to cope all by itself? Fear not, the summer holidays are here and...
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Optimus Education

Award scheme recognises schools building better mental health

From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education Ltd, will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England. An NCB survey in 2016 showed many school leaders...
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John Viner

Staff retention means keeping the right people on the bus

A long and costly recruitment cycle is just one of the things a school has to endure if they can't keep their eggs on the bus - and their foxes at bay. At the sharp end of budget matters, school business managers are likely to have a very good idea of the cost of recruiting a new member of staff...
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Alex Masters

How my hour-long appraisal nearly destroyed me

Appraisals can truly make or break a person, as Alex Masters discovered. Use these expert tips to ensure your feedback is always constructive. It was an hour of pure hell. I was in the English department office, two pupils (who had just been sent out of a nearby classroom owing to disruptive...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Finders, keepers: improve wellbeing to retain the best staff

The recruitment and retention of staff can be testing at the best of times. Time spent finding and hiring the best person for the job is wasted if the job doesn't entice them to stay in the role. Discussions around staff retention usually follow the premise that keeping staff is good. This isn’t...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Has teacher workload reached critical mass?

It is a surprise to no-one that indomitable teacher workloads are contributing to the current recruitment and retention crisis. What action must be taken, both on a national and individual level? For almost twenty years I have been writing about the demands of teacher workload and the devastating...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Healthy schools: working towards wellbeing

Promoting health and wellbeing in school can help pupils lead long, happy lives. Here are some tips for encompassing the 'whole package' of wellbeing in your school's approach. It is undeniable that schools have a responsibility to promote healthy lifestyles. There is little point in developing...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Coping with and responding to change in your school

Change in education seems constant. Whether it’s new legislation to implement, new teaching strategies to learn or adapting to new staff and leadership styles. Elizabeth Holmes outlines how to cope and what you can do to ensure change is a success in your school. He who rejects change is the...
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Elizabeth Holmes

CPD support for teacher's wellbeing and self-worth

Teachers' wellbeing and self-worth are of paramount importance if they are to nurture similar confidence in their pupils. Elizabeth Holmes discusses what steps can be taken to support this important area of CPD. Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy. (Wayne Dyer) Is it...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Why teacher mental health matters – and how to improve it

With a third of the teaching workforce predicted to leave the profession by 2020, Elizabeth Holmes explores the links between positive mental health, productivity and retention. To think too much is a disease. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) Research by the Education Support Partnership has revealed that over...
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