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

John Dabell

Don’t do your best!

Sometimes a job only has to be done well enough. John Dabell argues that teaching is one such job and explains why it's better not to give 100% all the time. If you are ‘trying your best’ all the time it’s a one-way ticket to the GP with burn out. Perfection, or chasing perfection, is a huge time-...
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John Dabell

Staff wellbeing and TNTs

Tiny noticeable things, lollipop moments and filling buckets: John Dabell discusses how these things can make you a better leader. Although there isn’t a single definitive leadership skills list, there are four core leaderships skills that are fundamental: communication self-awareness influence...
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Lauren Peart-Roddis

A spring in our step! TEAM’s wellbeing and workload journey so far

A working group, workload charter, wellbeing champion and learning lessons from staff surveys: Lauren Peart-Roddis shares next steps in the TEAM Education Trust's staff wellbeing journey. With the steady lengthening of each day and the exciting possibilities offered in early spring, our strategy to...
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Lauren Peart-Roddis

The TEAM plan for workload and wellbeing

The TEAM Education Trust put wellbeing at the heart of its strategy from the start. Lauren Peart-Roddis shares useful tips and lessons learnt. Launching as a new education trust in the midst of a pandemic in June 2020 was always going to be tricky, but staff wellbeing was an important priority for...
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Julia Sandford-Cooke

The 2021 Optimus blog quiz

In 2021, our blog covered everything from wellbeing, race and anxiety to school uniforms, finance and working with LSAs. Revisit your favourite posts to help you answer our quiz questions. Answers are at the bottom of the page. 1. Which of these tips is NOT helpful when tackling imposter syndrome?...
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Nicola Harvey

The PERMA approach to staff wellbeing

Education professionals are reporting high levels of work-related stress. Nicola Harvey explains how the PERMA approach can nurture a sense of wellbeing, fulfilment and purpose. After a well-deserved summer break, education professionals in England, have returned to the classroom. While everyone...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Supervision for mental health leads: why and how?

Kelly Hannaghan makes the case for pastoral staff supervision for mental health and wellbeing leads, as a means to process the increasing pressures they are carrying. It’s perplexing that wellbeing practitioners such as psychologists and social workers have regular supervision that is mandatory,...
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Adele Bates

Pandemic permissions: let’s keep talking about mental health and wellbeing

‘Actually, I’m not that great.’ What would change if we put conversations about mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of our work in schools? Around Christmas I got a text from someone I vaguely know: ‘sorry, I’m not able to work on that right now, I’m having trouble with my mental health’...
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Luke Ramsden

A day in the life of a safeguarding lead in lockdown

Luke Ramsden reflects on the 'new normal' of life as a safeguarding lead during lockdown and beyond. At a time when the media has generally described schools as ‘closed’, teachers have in fact been busier than ever, trying to adapt well-practised lesson plans and schemes of work to a world of...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Managing anxiety in challenging times

The changing and challenging circumstances we find ourselves in are creating a wave of anxiety, particularly for those working in schools. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what to do and where to go for help. This is unquestionably an anxiety-inducing time. As I write, there have been challenging words...
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