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

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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Gareth D Morewood

Why understanding our own stress matters

Everyone experiences stress, but why does it matter? Gareth D Morewood shares how we can understand our own stress, and what we can do to manage it. In light of the current teacher retention and recruitment crisis, this morning the DfE announced their latest plans to set up an advisory group on...
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Julia Watson

Why teachers need more sleep

As teachers battle daily feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, good quality sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity, says Julia Watson. When I see clients in my hypnotherapy practice, they present with a wide variety of challenges and goals. Invariably, they all have one thing in common: sleep...
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Liz Murray

Why I took the zig zag path to career development

How part-time working in schools enabled an unconventional approach to Liz Murray's career development. There are many reasons why a teacher might request part-time hours. For me, it was after the birth of my daughter. I had been teaching for a decade and was head of English at a new academy. I had...
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Gareth D Morewood

It’s time to take action on SENCO workload

The ‘It’s about time’ report has highlighted the issue of SENCO workload. What action can we take to redress the balance? Nearly 2,000 SENCOs responded to a call for their real experiences of the job, workload, processes and (perhaps most importantly?) time. The resulting report, It’s about time:...
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Julia Watson

Surviving the Christmas countdown

Don't end the term collapsed under a heap of paper chains, unable to enjoy the holidays and your own festivities. Follow these steps for Christmas countdown survival! It has begun. Trees are going up, toy adverts are everywhere and it’s just two short weeks until pupils arrive in school with...
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