The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Staff wellbeing

Gareth D Morewood

It’s time to take action on SENCO workload

The ‘It’s about time’ report has highlighted the issue of SENCO workload. What action can we take to redress the balance? Nearly 2,000 SENCOs responded to a call for their real experiences of the job, workload, processes and (perhaps most importantly?) time. The resulting report, It’s about time:...
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Julia Watson

Surviving the Christmas countdown

Don't end the term collapsed under a heap of paper chains, unable to enjoy the holidays and your own festivities. Follow these steps for Christmas countdown survival! It has begun. Trees are going up, toy adverts are everywhere and it’s just two short weeks until pupils arrive in school with...
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Julia Watson

7 ways to succeed as a school leader

Looking to refresh or improve your leadership skills this term? Julia Watson explains how you can raise the bar. The amount expected of a school leader has never been greater, with inordinate demands on time and resources distracting from the essence of the role. So how can you get off to a flying...
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Julia Watson

How to detoxify your staffroom

A collection of dirty mugs is not the only sign that the vitality of your staffroom may be under threat. Julia Watson provides some tips for a healthier environment. A happy, healthy staffroom is at the heart of an effective team, providing safe haven, a place of camaraderie and connection. Sadly...
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Lisa Griffin

‘Wellbeing at the heart of our school’

We visited Lessness Heath Primary School to congratulate them on their wellbeing provision and present them with the Wellbeing Award for Schools. Sunshine and blue skies set the scene for a day of celebration at Lessness Heath Primary School . The school is the first to achieve the Wellbeing Award...
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David Weston

4 ways for MATs to become employers of choice

David Weston describes key ways MATs can become employers of choice where talented individuals want to stay and develop. In a time of significant challenges for recruitment and retention, MATs are under pressure to stand out as great employers. CEOs and executive headteachers are increasingly...
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John Dabell

Teachers can make their mark with written feedback

Effective feedback lies at the heart of the learning process. John Dabell explains why written feedback should be no exception. Marking has been demonised. It has been hijacked by the marking martyrs who rage against the machine. They hate marking and pour scorn on it at every available opportunity...
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Ashmi Morjaria

How to improve teachers’ post-maternal wellbeing

Returning to work after pregnancy can be a dizzying experience for teachers. Ashmi Morjaria explains why they need a helping hand. The six-week summer holiday can leave teachers at a loose end. Some of us turn into insomniacs the night before the autumn term. Anxiety takes over as our minds are...
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Julia Watson

Positivity pays: the art of solution-focused thinking

It's all too easy to overlook the power of an optimistic outlook, even for the bitterest of cynics in your staffroom. Looking on the bright side can have a significant effect on wellbeing, boosting self-esteem and productivity. While this may appear naïve, understanding how the brain works under...
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Optimus Education

Stress: how do we cope?

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is stress – one of the most common triggers of poor mental health – and how we’re coping with it. Stress is something most of us contend with on a daily basis and, as the Mental Health Foundation’s Mark Rowland has pointed out , our ‘stress...
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