How to maintain a healthy mind and culture during periods of challenge

This is a practical toolkit for school leaders. It includes exercises, tools and tips to help school leaders implement healthy habits for supporting their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their staff. 


As a school leader you care passionately about learning, your community and your pupils. You often put your team and others before yourself, giving time and energy to keep others going.

What this may sometimes lead to is a sacrifice of your own wellbeing and mental health.

We have developed a toolkit, in partnership with NAHT, to help you to maintain a healthy mind and culture during periods of challenge such as inspections.

It offers practical exercises, tools and tips to help you implement healthy habits support your own wellbeing, and to maintain a mentally healthy working environment for yourselves and your team during times of challenge.

This toolkit is split into three sections: 

  1. Building a healthy mind and culture to deal with challenges and stress
    This is the section to read (and hopefully implement some of the hints and tips) before a challenge arises. If you are in a strong position when entering a challenging time, you will be much better prepared to deal with it.
  2. The challenge itself – the pressure of being under stress
    This is the section to read during an acute period of challenge. For example, when you’ve received the call to notify you of an inspection.
  3. Managing the after-effects
    The impact of any acutely challenging scenario shouldn’t be underestimated. Taking time to replenish your reserves and reflect before the next challenge arises is an important part of the process.

You can download the toolkit below.

We have also developed two short videos to help support you and your team. Watch them below.


Here are two videos for school leaders: 

  • to access in the moment when handling stressful situations, which includes a guided breathing exercise
  • to help them support staff when handling challenging and stressful situations, including before or during an inspection
Leads helping themselves in the moment
Leaders helping others in the moment


Created in partnership with NAHT


Employee Assistance Programme
Employee Assistance Programme
Professional supervision
Professional supervision