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 Viner

Staff wellbeing: the case for change

Teacher mental health has been a concern for over a decade, so why has so little been done to tackle the issue? John Viner shares the research around teacher stress, and why urgent action is needed. Damian Hinds has recognised that if we are to retain teachers, something has to be done to address...
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Emily Colyer

Boys' underachievement: rethinking masculinity in schools

Why are boys falling behind in school? Emily Colyer interviews Matt Pinkett about boys' underperformance in his new book Boys Don’t Try? Rethinking Masculinity in Schools. What prompted you to write a book about boys’ underachievement in education? Ever since I started teaching, the debate about...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Why wellbeing in education matters to me

With a growing mental health crisis in our school, Kelly Hannaghan shares her views on why schools need wellbeing leaders. My first memory of starting primary school is scarred by the immense feeling of fear that overcame me. I clearly remember looking through the glass on the classroom door and...
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Gareth D Morewood

International perspectives and broadening horizons

Gareth D Morewood reflects on his latest international conferences, sharing lessons from the inspirational contacts he has made during the last few weeks. I have been very fortunate over the last few years, not only to gain some amazing insights and experiences in UK schools and settings but also...
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Dr Helen O'Connor

Introducing 'positive education' into the curriculum

Embedding wellbeing in the curriculum is more important than ever. Dr Helen O'Connor shares how 'positive education' has been introduced in her school, and how it can be adapted to suit different environments. It's easy to predict what parents want most for their children. They want them to be...
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John Dabell

Why we need interprofessional collaboration

Schools could learn so much from external professionals if they collaborated more. John Dabell looks at values we can take from other professions, and why they should be implemented in education. It’s often said that teaching is the profession on which all other professions depend. Perhaps, but how...
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Freddie Roberts

Researching for Optimus' SEND Update conference

Our annual SEND Update conference takes place on 23 May. Conference Producer Freddie Roberts shares what he discovered through his research calls, and what you can expect on the day. Going into researching my first SEND conference for Optimus, I was unsure about what to expect in terms of agenda...
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Charlie Roden

Promoting positive wellbeing in the early years

What happens during a child's earliest years can have a lasting impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Charlie Roden looks at how we can help children get the best start in life. The first five years of a child’s life are crucial for development. It is during these years that a child’s brain...
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Ashmi Morjaria

Women in leadership – change the stats!

Two-thirds of women experience 'imposter syndrome' in the workplace. How can we combat this voice in our head, and how can we encourage and support the progress of other women? I recently attended an inspiring course led by Carol Jones (Director of Leading Women Education ) at my school. The aim of...
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John Viner

Turning 'problem parents' into partners

Hard to reach or scared to come in? John Viner shares how we can reach out to so-called 'problem parents' to better support our pupils. I am a slow learner. It took me over twenty years of headship before I really understood that even the most challenging parents are as much partners in their...
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