Wellbeing tips for school leaders | Education Support
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Wellbeing tips for school leaders

Eight four per cent of school leaders recently told us they are feeling stressed.

April is Stress Awareness Month so we asked Dr Emma Kell, teacher and author to share her practical wellbeing tips for headteachers and school leaders.


Summary of the main points

1. No one is going to look after you for you

Nobody's going to do it for you. Nobody's going to thank you for dragging yourself in after two hours sleep and after 100 hour week of work. You need to take responsibility, you need to do it for you.

2. Where you model others will follow

So if you take the time to stop everything to actually have some lunch even if it's just 20 minutes; if you walk the long way around school to actually make the most of the fresh air; if you have a laugh with the children in the playground during break time; others will think they have permission to do that too and they too will have improved well-being and self-care.

3. You need to be ruthless and create what you need

You need to create the space you need; the time in nature that you need; the sleep that you need; and the silence that you need away from all of those demands and all of those people who want a piece of you.

4. You cannot be there for everybody all of the time

You cannot be the person gritting the pavement, cleaning up the sick, you cannot be the person who is everybody's mum and everybody's dad. It is simply not possible. We don't need you to be a superhero. We need you to be a human being first and a leader second. We need you with that passion and that optimism and those principles that you came into the profession with. And we need you to be sustainable because we need you to stay in the long run. Thank you for everything that you do.

Dr Emma Kell is a teacher, researcher, speaker and co-author of A Little Guide for Teachers: Teacher Wellbeing and Self-care.

How we can help 

Our helpline is an essential lifeline for teachers and education staff who are struggling. It is free, confidential and available 24/7 on 08000 562561.

Our Employee Assistance Programme is a cost-effective staff wellbeing package that can transform your team's wellbeing. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch