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

Staff wellbeing

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...
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John Dabell

How can governors help the wellbeing of school leaders?

John Dabell explores how support and challenge from governors can improve headteacher wellbeing and make the life of a leader easier. Headteachers and governors don’t have to get on like a house on fire, but it certainly helps if they have a professional and productive working relationship that is...
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Liz Murray

Flexible working in action: planning and communication

In the first of a blog series, Liz Murray shares her experience of setting up a new job share. As teacher, SENCO, and educational consultant, I haven’t shied away from publicly advocating the importance of embracing flexible working across all sectors. I recently wrote about my zig zag career path...
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Elizabeth Holmes

An inclusive approach to menopause

Support for female teachers experiencing menopause symptoms is key to their wellbeing and retention. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what genuine provision can be put in place to help staff at this stage of their lives and careers. Menopause, the end of a woman’s menstrual periods, can be a challenging...
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John Dabell

How to protect NQT wellbeing

John Dabell explains how teacher retention can be improved by focusing on the wellbeing of new teachers to help them feel supported, valued and motivated to stay. Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are the lifeblood of the system. They are vibrant, dynamic and a breath of fresh air to any school. But...
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Emily Colyer

Teacher workload: focus on actions, not outcomes

Emily Colyer interviews Ben White about the relationship between teacher workload and wellbeing, and what needs to change to prevent burnout. What are the main flaws in the way the role of the teacher is currently designed? Where or why do problems typically occur? I think that there are often...
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Paul Gooding

10 simple steps to enhancing whole school wellbeing

Want to improve your school's mental health but don't know where to start? Follow these 10 simple steps to support the positive wellbeing of both students and staff. Promoting positive wellbeing is central to education. After all, wellbeing is the canvas upon which students learn – it is the...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Why self-care is vital for wellbeing leaders

The role of the wellbeing leader in cultivating a healthy environment and organisation is increasingly important. But what challenges do these leaders face in protecting their own wellbeing? Think about all the challenges schools are facing: troubled pupils, Ofsted inspections, attainment concerns...
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John Viner

Supporting teacher mental health: strategies for senior leaders

How can senior leaders support their colleagues' mental health? John Viner shares four strategies to promote positive wellbeing amongst staff. As discussed in my previous blog post , wellbeing in schools is coming under increased scrutiny. Unfortunately, too often school leaders are so busy...
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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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