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

John Dabell

How to deal with negative teachers

Actively cultivating positive emotions is essential in a school environment. But how do you work with staff who don’t look on the bright side of life? John Dabell discusses. Schools can be stressful places that make Frankensteins of us all and breed negative thinking and toxicity. When left...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teacher wellbeing: more than just tackling workload

To address the real problem of poor teacher wellbeing, schools need to be doing more than just reducing workload. It’s also about leadership and management, personal wellbeing and learning to say no. In November 2019 the Education Support Partnership published its latest Teacher Wellbeing Index ...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and inclusion in a mainstream secondary school

Gareth D Morewood reflects on how his previous school has successfully created an inclusive environment for their pupils with autism. During my last year as SENCO, my school was fortunate to be part of the Autism Education Trust (AET) good practice case studies . The case studies highlight eight...
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Liz Murray

Flexible working in action: progress, challenges, resolutions and impact

In the third instalment of her blog series on making a job share work, Liz Murray reflects on progress made so far and resolutions for the year ahead. As readers of the first two blogs in this series will know, I'm a co-SENCO at a large state secondary school. My job share partner and I embarked on...
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John Viner

Knife crime: what can schools do?

For some children knife crime has become normalised. John Viner looks at the role schools can play in educating pupils about knife carrying and keeping them safe. We seem to have reached a point where knife crime is just another weekly occurrence, when the news reports another stabbing and we...
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Kelly Hannaghan

10 new year resolutions wellbeing leaders should actually keep

If you’re someone who always looks out for other people, it’s time to start prioritising your own wellbeing. Kelly Hannaghan shares her top 10 wellbeing goals for 2020. Wellbeing leaders need to be emotionally and physically healthy. The role is a non-stop process of inspiring, planning and...
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Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: flexible working

In the second episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, we look at why some schools see flexible working as a challenge, the potential benefits of allowing staff to work flexibly and advice on making it work in your school. An increasing number of people are working flexibly. Amongst many other...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Engaging parents in their children's education: a strengths-based approach

To be successful in building partnerships with parents and carers, schools need to rethink their approach to parental engagement. Dr Karamat Iqbal looks at how schools can build bridges with the world of parents. Partnership between parents and schools has been a part of the British education...
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Rachel Wright

Why 100% attendance awards are toxic to school environments

Going to school or work is important, but not as important as mental wellbeing and health. Rachel Wright argues why schools need to stop giving out attendance awards. ‘Four reasons my son won’t be collecting his 100% attendance award’ became a social media viral phenomenon in 2017. As a blogger and...
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John Dabell

Why discretionary effort is bad for our wellbeing

If you’re someone who always goes the extra mile, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. John Dabell explains why we shouldn’t make it a habit. Teaching requires bags and bags of energy because it is non-stop give, give, give. The job demands being on top of your game and being battle-...
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