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

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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
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...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

The SEND inquiry: getting it right for children, families and schools

It's been five years since the last biggest education reforms for young people with SEND were introduced, but how successful have these reforms been? Elizabeth Holmes looks at some of the findings and responses to the SEND inquiry report. In April 2018, the Education Committee launched their SEND...
Read more...
Liz Murray

Flexible working in action: developing the working relationship

In the second of her blog series, Liz Murray reveals how plans are already changing, and what the job share partners are doing to ensure a successful working relationship. As readers of my previous blog will know, I’m in a new job share arrangement as co-director of curriculum support (basically a...
Read more...
Fiona Carnie

How can schools respond to the climate crisis?

If schools don't show themselves to be responding to the climate emergency, many young people will see their education as irrelevant. Fiona Carnie looks at what schools can do to address this crisis. Fears about the climate crisis are bringing growing numbers of adults and children out on to the...
Read more...
Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: teacher mental health

In the first episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, Charlie Roden explores the causes of poor teacher mental health, and what can be done to improve staff wellbeing. Concerns over teacher mental health are on the rise. The most recent Teacher Wellbeing Index found that over a third of education...
Read more...
Kelly Hannaghan

How deprivation affects outcomes in education – and what we can do about it

Like many school leaders, Kelly Hannaghan is seeing first-hand the effects of poverty on her school community. What can schools do to empower families and ensure children achieve their academic potential? The Child Poverty Act 2010 set targets for ending child poverty by 2020. However, child...
Read more...