The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Staff wellbeing

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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Elizabeth Holmes

The mid-winter blues: helping ourselves and helping colleagues

Elizabeth Holmes shares practical wellbeing advice for those struggling with the mid-winter blues. It’s leap year. Forget the usual traditions, the real story is that February is rather miserably extended. An extra day of winter, and for those hit by the blues this time of year, that’s not great...
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Gareth D Morewood

SENCo resolutions for 2016

Gareth D Morewood takes a look at what resolutions SENCos can set in order to achieve effective whole-school provision for SEND. Happy New Year! As we start 2016 I am reminded of one of the first articles I had published about the role of the SENCo . After achieving some decent down-time over the...
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Elizabeth Holmes

12 ways to boost your wellbeing

Study after study tells us that teacher wellbeing is in danger of hitting rock bottom and a visit to any staffroom is likely to confirm those findings. What to do? 'Getting down to the gym a couple of days a week and having low-fat milk in your latte isn’t going to make much of a dent in a system...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Staff wellbeing: avoiding burnout in the run-up to Christmas

The festive season is upon us, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s no doubt that reaching this point in the school year can be an exhausting experience. Elizabeth Holmes outlines research from City University on the importance of taking a break over the holidays, to ensure staff...
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Gareth D Morewood

Strategies for responding to stress

Gareth Morewood examines self-control and stress models that can influence how you manage challenging behaviour. Two weeks ago I attended a three day International Health and Wellbeing Conference , hosted by Studio III , with one of our speech and language therapists. The event focused on taking a...
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Alex Masters

Supporting your support staff with positive appraisals

The word ‘appraisal’ often conjures images of clipboards and awkward conversations. Alex Masters explores how this process can bring out the best in your teams. It’s the time of year for appraisals and, as part of their role, many SBMs carry these out for their school’s support staff. Indeed, these...
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Alex Masters

SBMs: we need to talk!

Many SBMs are worried about their relationship with the SLT. Alex Masters invites you to a new live forum where you can talk openly about your concerns and get expert advice. ‘I’m going to come out and say it. I love my business manager.’ This was the confession from a primary headteacher in his...
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