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

Pupil safety and pastoral care

John Viner

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best: what impact could Brexit have on schools?

No one knows what a disorderly Brexit could mean for education, but we need to be prepared. How should schools respond to the potential disruption which may follow? The local authority officer looked across the room. “We are,” he said, “preparing for the worst, but rather hoping it won’t be as bad...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teaching hungry children: the impact of food insecurity

With 4.5 million children in the UK living in poverty, many are going to school hungry. What impact does this have on our pupils, and what foods do schools need to be providing to support their learning? In November 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme povery and human rights visited the UK...
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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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John Viner

The problem of obesity and school responsibilities

What role do schools have in tackling childhood obesity? John Viner discusses. Two of my grandchildren have recently started school where, for one of them at least, the highlight of each day is lunch. Particularly the sweet desserts. This is a boy with a real sweet tooth and school is a willing...
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John Dabell

Have you poverty proofed your school?

Prosperity for all? Nowhere near. John Dabell looks at how poverty proofing can be achieved in the classroom. Britain has a deep social mobility problem and there are considerable inequalities in educational attainment which are linked to social disadvantage. The Institute for Fiscal Studies...
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