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

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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Charlie Roden

Managing Christmas expectations

What can we do to stop unrealistic expectations taking the joy out of Christmas, and how can we keep emotionally well during the hectic festive period? The pupils of Lessness Heath made their own Christmas decorations Last week I was very kindly invited to Lessness Heath Primary School's 'Family...
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Optimus Education

Wellbeing Award for Schools: the impact so far

Over 1,000 schools are taking part in the Optimus Wellbeing Award for Schools, but what impact has this actually had on the wellbeing of pupils, staff and families? In 2016, Optimus commissioned research into a series of new awards, including the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) . We found that...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Building wellbeing connections across the globe

An opportunity to meet with fellow wellbeing leaders from Zhejiang deepens cultural understanding and confirms the importance of mental health education for children and young people everywhere. Earlier this term I wrote about the power of networking . My wellbeing work has brought me into contact...
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Mark Upton

School funding, standards and the abolition of private schools: the general election story so far

With manifestos published and polling day getting closer for the 2019 election, Mark Upton identifies the likely flashpoints in education and ambiguities within party policies. School funding, or the lack of it, was identified as a liability for the Conservatives at the 2017 general election. A...
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Joanna Grace

'Tis a sensory season!

Christmas can be an exciting but overwhelming time, particularly for young people with SEND. Joanna Grace shares strategies to help children cope with and enjoy the festive period. Stepping out the door in the early morning last week, I turned to my little boy and said, “I think I can smell...
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Gareth D Morewood

Prioritising wellbeing: putting yourself first

With work-related stress on the rise, school staff need to be thinking about putting themselves first. Gareth D Morewood looks at ways of supporting stress to directly improve wellbeing. The recently published Teacher Wellbeing Index highlights disproportionately high levels of stress amongst...
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