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

Damian Hinds' plans for teacher retention

One of the biggest threats to recruitment and retention in schools is teacher workload. John Viner looks at how education secretary Damian Hinds plans to tackle this problem. I have written before on the problems of teacher recruitment , but the situation is compounded by the rate in which teachers...
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Charlie Roden

Creative interventions to enhance student wellbeing

How can tortoises and pinwheels help your students? Charlie Roden shares two examples of creative interventions to enhance your students' wellbeing. Jake and Doodles stay with a member of staff during half terms and holidays Having worked as a TA in a secondary school, one of my main...
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Julia Watson

Dealing with challenging parents

How can teachers deal with parental behaviour they find challenging? Julia Watson shares three common scenarios and how to overcome them. Working in partnership with parents is the ideal for every teacher. When it works well, the tag-team of parent and teacher can be transformative for the welfare...
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Gareth D Morewood

Working together to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable young people

Reflections on #CoPro19: Gareth D Morewood highlights key themes and important points to consider in working towards co-production. Prior to our third conference a few weeks ago, I wrote about our journey in developing #CoPro19 ; a conference about families and professionals working together and...
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Joanna Grace

Recognising mental health in students with learning disabilities

In a population as vulnerable as our students with profound learning disabilities, recognising their mental health can be a game changer. Joanna Grace shares two stories to show the importance of such recognition. We all know that being mentally healthy is just as important for living a good life...
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Gareth D Morewood

Transition into adulthood: moving from school to college

The transition from school to college can be daunting for any teenager. Gareth D Morewood shares the experiences of a former student with autism, and how she deals with the challenges she faces at college. I am fortunate to work with some truly empowering young people and many fantastic families...
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Dr Karamat Iqbal

Whatever happened to equalities?

What have changes to government policies meant for equalities? Dr Karamat Iqbal looks at racism in schools, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve equality. In the post-war education system, there have been a variety of education policy approaches to equalities. It is an area that is...
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John Viner

DfE recognises the importance of mental health in schools

The DfE is now recognising the link between mental health and behaviour in schools. John Viner looks at how useful their recent reports are. The Department for Education (DfE) has recently published two informative and helpful papers. The first, released in October, is Mental health and wellbeing...
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Simon Scarborough

Establishing yourself in a new school: my top tips for behaviour management

Starting in a new school can be a daunting process even for an experienced teacher. Simon Scarborough shares his advice for building meaningful relationships with students and staff. For those teachers who have moved from a school where they became an established member of staff, it can come as...
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Gareth D Morewood

What is co-production? Moving from theory into practice

How does co-production happen? Finding solutions, collaboration, empowerment and sharing responsibility. I have considered previously how research indicates that co-production is powerful . However, I am constantly thinking more about what this really means ‘on the ground’. In the first post of the...
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