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: flexible working

In the second episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, we look at why some schools see flexible working as a challenge, the potential benefits of allowing staff to work flexibly and advice on making it work in your school. An increasing number of people are working flexibly. Amongst many other...
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John Dabell

Why discretionary effort is bad for our wellbeing

If you’re someone who always goes the extra mile, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. John Dabell explains why we shouldn’t make it a habit. Teaching requires bags and bags of energy because it is non-stop give, give, give. The job demands being on top of your game and being battle-...
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Optimus Education

Wellbeing Award for Schools: the impact so far

Over 1,000 schools are taking part in the Optimus Wellbeing Award for Schools, but what impact has this actually had on the wellbeing of pupils, staff and families? In 2016, Optimus commissioned research into a series of new awards, including the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS) . We found that...
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Gareth D Morewood

Prioritising wellbeing: putting yourself first

With work-related stress on the rise, school staff need to be thinking about putting themselves first. Gareth D Morewood looks at ways of supporting stress to directly improve wellbeing. The recently published Teacher Wellbeing Index highlights disproportionately high levels of stress amongst...
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Liz Murray

Flexible working in action: developing the working relationship

In the second of her blog series, Liz Murray reveals how plans are already changing, and what the job share partners are doing to ensure a successful working relationship. As readers of my previous blog will know, I’m in a new job share arrangement as co-director of curriculum support (basically a...
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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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