The development of #teacher5aday – Are you ready for the #30daychallenge?

Saturday morning seems to be the time for me to get things out of my head and onto (virtual) paper. It’s 05.32 and my brain is switched on! This week I’ve continued to get over my dose of the virus. Definitely not at our normal full pace the family are slowly recovering from the symptoms of Covid-19. Coughs, headaches, fatigue, tonsillitis, aches and pains linger across 4 out of 5 of us. We still feel blessed to have recovered to this point when others have experienced and are dealing with much more.

In 2014, when I originally had the idea about developing #teacher5aday as a concept of improving teacher wellbeing I had been inspired by a number of people. The first presentation I gave on the subject happened by accident. I was a last minute substitute for Mark Healy @cijane02 who was due to share his views on dealing with stress positively at Teaching and Learning Takeover 14 (#TLT14), a Saturday CPD event, pre ReserchED and a few others. He was unable to attend so I had a go at delivering his work.

The New Economics Foundation NEF “5 Ways to Wellbeing” is the basis of the concept which underpins the hashtag teacher5aday. At the time I think the people behind Corbett Maths were encouraging students to attempt 5 maths questions a day. I wondered what it might be like to try to inspire and cajole teachers to consider the 5 elements from the NEF report, which could potentially improve their wellbeing.

As the years have progressed the list of people who have influenced my thinking in the world of wellbeing and school leadership continues to grow. Along with the NEF and Mark over 5 years ago I was intrigued by the challenge Hannah Norton @Wild_Every_Day, had set herself of aiming to spend part of her day outside for a year and document the impact it had on her wellbeing.

At the time she had introduced me to the work of John Muir, also known as “John of the Mountains” and “Father of the National Parks”. For those who don’t know he was as an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States of America. As a geographer and someone who was keen to find out about the impact of the outdoors on wellbeing the work of the John Muir Trust was encouraging me to consider how we could reduce stress on the students as they progressed towards their final examinations. Is it time now to reconsider this concept and could the John Muir Award be used as a vehicle to help students and their families deal with the pressures of Lockdown? What about if on our daily walks we completed a journal of the impacts it has had? Where we discover, explore, conserve and share the benefits of our local environment

So the idea was formed to encourage teachers to post about their wellbeing adventures on Twitter using the hashtag teacher5aday. The 5 elements to wellbeing provided the framework for discussion and my only deviation from the original concept was to reshape the concept of giving into volunteering. As a teacher I felt we give enough in our day jobs and to volunteer would encourage people to consider activities beyond the school gates to improve their wellbeing.

So the question remains today. How are you going to #connect #notice, #learn, #exercise and #volunteer to improve your wellbeing and achieve your #teacher5aday?

Over the years a number of teacher5aday spin offs have developed. FitFeb has followed the #teacher5aday pledges of January for the last four years to encourage teachers to stick with the new years resolutions and exercise your way through the shortest month of the year.

Simon Johnson @clcsimon and Jonny Mcloughlin @MrMcloughlin_PE have reshaped FitFeb into the #30daychallenge which started on Wednesday (1.4.20). They have designed and built a concept and associated website to encourage teachers to collectively #exercise over the course of the month. In doing so I would argue they are helping all participants to improve all of their #teacher5aday and subsequently their wellbeing. If you post your updates on twitter then you will also #connect with others and I guarantee that if you #volunteer for the month you will #notice the difference and #learn a new range of fitness based skills. Underpinning the #30daychallenge is participation not competition. With the gift of time can we choose to use it wisely?

Recovering from our illness we have taken our time this week to get involved gently. We take advantage of our daily walks with the dog enjoying the full hour. My eldest daughter is 10 out of 10 for #PEwithJoe but the other two have dipped in and out. Next week I hope to get more involved with the odd #gentlejog and develop some more healthy habits.

I hope you will get involved as well.

#teacher5aday #slowchatC19 – my experience of having the covid-19 virus (at least I think I had it!)

A week on from the start of #teacher5aday #slowchatC19 I think I’m in recovery from a dose of the virus. I write this NOT for sympathy but hopefully to provide others an understanding of what they might experience.

Needed R and R

Last Saturday morning, after a much earlier than usual wake up, I went downstairs for breakfast. My daughters and wife arrived at different times. Last week this was done in a relaxed style. There was none of our normal rush to get ready to make it out of the house to get to our tap and ballet classes on time! Something we realised last weekend we had been doing for 9 years.

My middle daughter (M), my wife and I all had sore throats. My daughter had been up in the night with a temperature. My wife had a headache and I had aches and pains across my chest and a dry cough. Separately the symptoms in “normal times” would not have caused a complete change in our plans. A mild cold perhaps. Some tablets and we would be on our way for a weekend of sport and visiting family. Not last weekend! We followed the advice on the 111 website and decided to take the decision to self isolate.

Last weekend I was looking forward to using the gift of time wisely which had been granted by this virus. As a family we were transitioning from normality to Schools out for Summer (except we are only in March)! Our routine during term time is metronomic. As the girls get older the more we spend time investing in their activities beyond the school gates the better. In my view it’s money in the bank when I look at their personal development. The logistics are epic but worth it. In this honeymoon period of covid-19 I have wondered how losing these activities and the associated connections will impact on the girls over the mid to longer term.

On reflection, I wonder if some of my insomnia could be placed at the door of the virus. It has hung around for a couple of weeks along with a niggle on my left hand side under the rib cage. What was most difficult to start with was wondering if I had the virus and then slowing down to deal with it, rather than carrying on as normal and being dismissive of what was happening.

With a busy week under our belts we began to reimagine the house on Saturday from family home to school workhouse. An activity I’m sure most, but not all, were completing across the country. Rooms were tidied, the garage emptied and garden furniture put out. I’m so pleased we’ve had decent weather this week otherwise I’m not sure how things might have developed with everyone stuck in doors 24/7.

During the first couple of days my thoughts turned to those I had worked with closely during the previous week, my parents and in-laws. I went through my own version of contact tracing to get in touch to explain my predicament. The guilt associated with being a potential spreader was very palpable. My initial worry was for others and particularly those at most risk. Trying to support both sets of parents to change their behaviour has been the most challenging. Especially by remote control.

To help them stop just popping out to the shops!

To help them to understand how they could minimise their risk by staying at home but also understanding the associated dangers of loneliness and isolation.

Daily #exercise is important!

On Saturday I started to realise that I didn’t need to get everything ready for the next 6 months by the end of the day. By Monday we were ready to home learn and good enough was good enough.

Keeping a brave face on things, whilst all being in the same house seemed like the right strategy.

M who is made of granite was confined to bed for 2 days.

This on reflection was another signal. 100% attendance is her aim in every aspect of her life.

On Friday I pick the girls up from school. (This is my contribution to the jigsaw which is our family logistics every week. Our school day changed to an earlier start stopping my usual drop off on the odd day I didn’t have a 8.00am meeting. Those days seem like a long time ago now!) After pick up M would eat a snack in the car, be dropped off for 2 hrs of gymnastics, picked up and join us for an hour of hockey training and, every other friday, stay for a further hour and a half of additional goalkeeper training. This duracell bunny of a 11 yr old child would have her tea at 9ish to be ready for dance the next day. To be on self imposed bed rest was significant.

M is 95% of her mum and 5% of me. With my wife feeling the symptoms and then getting out of breath going up stairs this was also a major flag. Having both adults less than 100% was a little more than difficult on reflection.

On a personal note day 3, 4 and 5 were definitely the days I noticed things were getting more serious. The cough became more repetitive. The aches and pains more wide spread, around my rib cage front and back. I had a gripping pain internally, especially when I was trying to get to sleep. My sore throat got worse. Breathing became more laboured and in the afternoon I was very tired but unable to switch off and go to sleep. These symptoms happened in waves. In the mornings I would feel better, in the afternoon less so. I was in a state on confusion and dizziness. Not part of the conversation. Staying self isolated as a family unit was also difficult as was trying to keep in touch with work.

My original thoughts from last week did help us get through and in this  time of difficulty I think we will stay with it again next week.

We created a loose plan every day.

We worked on a day to day basis as a family.

We were kind to each other.

I reached out and connected with family, friends and colleagues more than ever drawing strength from them collectively.

I noticed more of the simple things. The joy of spending time together as a family. Being in our garden. Eating together. By doing these things we reaffirmed our family values.

We were grateful for everyone staying healthy!

Day 6 and 7 have been different. My breathing has improved. Less pain. More sleep. I did make the vow to a trusted friend to have a week of R and R to get over it. My recovery coincides with stopping doing and focusing on rest. Self care isn’t selfish.

I truly believe in times of crisis true colours are very visible. I will be indebted to those who communicated and offered help. I will continue to be kind towards those who I expected more of but haven’t been in touch. To some extent I wonder if they are yet to realise the seriousness of this issue and how long this epidemic will run.

Everything remains magnified by a factor of 10.

GOOD deeds, even the simplest make the difference. I think more time spent talking the better is a great strategy in the near future. This could happen either via the good old fashioned telephone or WhatsApp, FB or Zoom. One of the highlights of my week was our girls u12 hockey training via Zoom last night.

If you have suffered or are suffering from any of the symptoms I have described above please feel free to get in touch if you would like to talk.

The only thing that remains in doubt is if we have had the virus. Hopefully there will be a test soon that will allow both my wife and I to go back to work and to do our bit in more confidence of not spreading this virus any further. I view being infected early as a blessing. Perhaps some good can come as a result of it. I might get the opportunity

As for the slowchat I think more of the same next week. Under the massive banner of DO LESS BETTER.

#teacher5aday #slowchatC19 – How you doing? The Gift of time and having a positive mental attitude.

Do you remember Joey’s famous catch phrase from friends? Or am I just talking to Generation X? Has the power of that TV programme, the one about hanging out in a group had a cross generanerational impact? Isn’t it amazing how nostalgic you can get so quickly at times of shock and trauma? It’s 3.40 am on Saturday morning and I’m thinking about how Radio 2’s 90s day yesterday put a smile on my face from ear to ear and how I am so looking forward to some old school classic football on Match of the Day tonight.

Yesterday the first thought in my head was to be kind. To enjoy each day. To be grateful for everything and everyone and make the best of what I’ve got. To spend time really listening and truly live in the moment. What I’ve realised is there is little point in planning too far ahead. A wise friend gave me some amazing advice last weekend which has helped me get through the most shocking week of my career so far.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

The worst is unimaginable at times but the best has become my reason for being. 

How can I be the best version of me today?

When I first started sharing my ideas about teacher5aday I didn’t understand the profound effect it would have on my life. The New Economic Foundation’s awesome work on the Five Ways to Wellbeing have become part of my core values. Their take on how to look after yourself is simple and brilliant. Today, this morning, now, I must prioritise my physical and mental wellbeing. I must look after me. It’s not selfish it is self care. I need to be the best version of me so that I can help others. To be the best I can because what I need to do now is really important primarily for my family but also as part of a reimagined world of work and my extended communities.

Family values are so important. We haven’t sat down like the James value have done (see above) but we might do today. We’ve suddenly got the time to do it! I’m not sure if I want a headline banner but if I did it’s interesting to consider that honour might be everything moving forward. As a geographer I am naturally curious. I observe, think, record, test and reflect. It’s the thing I do by instinct and without noticing. As a family we look out for each other. We have our ups and downs but we forgive each other and don’t dwell on the negatives. We are active and enjoy spending time with each other. We laugh and perform. We are loud and proud and enjoy to talk. We are shy but confident. We are performers but prefer the backstage role. That’s what we do. By design. On instinct!

When we are in need we all require structures and rules. We are creatures of habit. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has not been far from my mind this week.

What have you done this week to keep healthy? To deal with your psychological needs? To consider the safety of your nearest and dearest? I’m firmly considering the basics at the moment. Keeping it simple and working extra hard on my connectedness. Doing what I love because I know it will make a difference. I’m looking for positive stories all of the time because if I can find the good then I’ve got a focus. I’m refinding my WHY. I’m reassessing my core values so that I can provide strong leadership in stormy waters.

What has struck me the most when things are stripped back to their most basic form as has happened this week is that everything becomes magnified by a factor of 10. Studying behaviour as a human geographer I observe reactions. Interactions. The best are being better. The stressed are finding things harder. The poorest behaviour stands out. In my humble opinion, in our community I’ve seen very little of the worst (Despite what the Daily Mail might have you believe).

There is nothing to fear except fear itself.

If we stick together then we will get through this.

I love to learn. This week I’ve gone to podcasts to distract my mind. To follow the World Health Organisation to NOT live stream the news but to update myself twice a day in short bursts. Another wise friend said this week the news will find you! I am deliberately disconnecting to keep myself healthy. It’s a new healthy habit I’m tryingt o train myself to do. It wasn’t part of my core being but after last weekend and my need to crave the news I’ve beaten that addiction. I took advice from a trusted source and I’ve acted on it.

It’s made me feel better.

I got there because I listened.

I’ve really focused on listening to the experience around me this week, taking new information on board and then doing something about it. From the despair of last weekend I’m on the verge of a turning point. I’ve cried walking the dog. I’ve listened to music that has taken on more meaning. I’ve introduced myself to the neighbours and volunteered in my community. I’ve noticed the bird song in a morning and slowed down my breathing and focused on the process.

I’ve …..




I’ve accepted feedback.

I will try to be more kind every day.

This week I’ve lived my #teacher5aday values more than ever and I feel much better for it. I’ve allowed myself to ride the wave of my emotions and understand that feelings come and go. That I will be deliriously happy and down in the dumps. Everything is magnified by a factor of ten. By focusing on the power of positive thinking I’ve become happier. A happy teacher builds good relationships. The conversation is THE thing this week. It’s really has been good to talk.

We start our new family today. Day 1. I’ve got an idea about a family training programme based on KINDNESS as our core value and the girls are my guinea pigs. I wonder how far the ripples might go?

At work I am going to suggest that we put a plan together to touch base with all of our staff over the next week. To share the people out between the leadership team and to pick up the phone because it is good to talk. Remember the BT advert? Embrace Nostalgia. If we magnify those conversations by a power of 10 I wonder what might happen in our communities?

My personal plan is to get fit again. TO COME BACK STRONGER. I’ve got the gift of time and I am going to use it wisely. The government want all of our students to do activity for 60 minutes a day. To learn that it is important as your five a day. I agree with Boris and to have integrity I believe I need to live my core values. I’m willing to let go of past mistakes. Are you? Is he?

If I was a premier league footballer I would be expected to come back into the game at peak performance. I would be tracked to an inch of my life by nutrionalist via my Fitbit over the next few months. I would have my own personal training programme but how much would I have co-designed the programme. How much will I own it? Using the teacher5aday structure I’m going to focus on a holistic approach to my wellbeing. So I can try to come back at my peak performance. I’ve got the gift of time and I intend to use it wisely. My first few games will be difficult but I’ve planned for that and I am ready to move forward.






The power of football and sport to build communities is more obvious to me than ever. Without sport a significant part of our community is missing. Tonight I’m going to enjoy some MOTD nostalgia and talk to my friends about it. In a WhatsApp group not down the pub. I’m 47 now but tonight I will be 18 again with my best mates and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!

#teacher5aday #slowchatc19 has few rules. A teacher will write a blog and share some questions to start the conversation. I’m up first and I’m over the moon to say despite everything else this week we’ve got some amazing educators who have volunteered their time to help share their take on #teacher5aday coming up soon.

Today we start at 9.00 am and I will share a question which hopefully will start the chat. Like Central Perk but on twitter. There is no pint in planning tomorrow at the moment but I will focus on today.

After about an hour I will add another question until we finish the list below. At 8.00 pm I will reissue all of the questions until 10.00pm and enjoy the process again.

Thanks for reading and hope you get involved.

1. What is your plan for today?

2. How will you be kind today?

3. Who will you connect with today?

4. What are your family values?

5. What did you #notice today?

6. What are you grateful for?

the #teacher5aday steering group meets again!

Giving up a day of our much loved half term might feel counter intuitive for a group of teachers interested in wellbeing. Yet on the Friday of February half term just gone, the teacher5aday steering group met again for the second time to collaboratively plan the next adventures of this wellbeing movement.

The steering group now numbers 23. A range of professionals who feel collectively there is a different way to celebrate the joys of teaching within a supportive network. To develop an amazing approach for teachers to own their own mental health and wellbeing and take simple positive steps each day to redress the balance.

A common thread that runs across most but not all of the group is an unpleasant toxic experience in our caring profession. The collective strength is its power to recover and continue to contribute positively in the sector. We have Executive Head Teachers, Headteachers, Deputy Heads, Assistant Head Teachers, Heads of Department and expert classroom practitioners. There are others who have left the classroom and staff room but offer an equally vital role in pointing the teacher5aday ship in the right direction. We all have aim to take the most successful elements of #teacher5aday off twitter and into more classrooms and staff rooms in 2020 and beyond. Building on the successful experiences we have had on twitter and championing the wellbeing of teachers across the country.

Representation from national bodies interested in supporting teacher wellbeing completes our team. Special thanks go out to the SSAT who continue to host our get togethers and as part of their Deep Social Justice agenda have put the importance of mental health of students and staff firmly on the national agenda.

Reflecting on #NCW2020 feels the perfect time time to share how the meeting went and some of our ideas for the future. National #teacher5aday week planned for its second incarnation this year (Nov 31 – Dec 4) follows very closely in the footsteps of national careers week. We have decided to keep the format the same this year and look to share the different elements of #teacher5aday every day

Monday – #Connect Tuesday – #Notice Wednesday – #learn Thursday – #exercise Friday – #Volunteer

With over 10 years of experience the team at national careers week wave the flag for careers education demonstrating how the power of great information, advice and guidance can transform lives. Each day of the week is themed as well during national careers week. What I have noticed is year on year, at the beginning of march, the careers based conversation and activity gets bigger and bigger on a national level. In my opinion it is now the go to resource for anyone in school who would like to make a difference to young people’s access to careers education.  Looking at the impact this year I’m sure the figures are going to be truly awe inspiring.

At #NCW HQ they use the week as a stake in the ground. To showcase the best in education. With their collaborative expertise they work with some very impressive partners to inspire teachers to engage in the week and then make careers an integral part of school life for the rest of the year! So that students have high quality interactions with the business community and make informed decisions about their future life chances. An awesome vision realised year on year in a magnificent manner.

Isn’t it time that we did the same for teacher wellbeing?

Don’t we deserve something similar?

And if teacher wellbeing and student wellbeing are different sides of the same coin it could be truly transformational for the system as a whole.

At the SSAT national conference this year I quoted the cost of supply in schools in England for just one year.

€1.3 Billion is spent on covering colleagues according to Supply Well, a supply company disrupting the system in the NW. £800 million of this total cost is lost to the system into the coffers of supply agencies.

What could we do with this money in our schools ?

Patrick Ottley-O’Connor (Executive Principal of North Liverpool Academy) has used the elements of #teacher5aday as part of his drive for school improvement in a variety of circumstances over the last 5 years. As well as being recognised by OFSTED for improving the schools he has worked in he also has saved £108,000 over 18 months on his supply budget at North Liverpool Academy by putting the wellbeing of staff at the heart of what he does.

Could we all do the same? Two extra teachers each in every school across the country.

At our first meeting Dr Sue Roffey gloriously declared that she didn’t like meetings! The importance of this steering group is not the activity of coming together but the work that goes on as a result of them.

Action Points (so far…)

1. The first job is to create some partnerships with organisations who are interested in teacher wellbeing and would like to link to one of the #teacher5aday five elements – All

If you’ve seen each day of #NCW2020 you will know what we mean They have RBS, Careers at Sea, NHS, Institute of Motor Industry and BeReady.

Which organisations would like to help teachers (and then consequently their students) understand the power of talking control of their wellbeing by connecting, noticing, exercising, learning and volunteering?

Some ideas to start the conversations are below but the more the merrier in my opinion so if you have a contact or you are an organisation that would like to support national #teacher5aday week please get in touch.

#connect – SSAT?

#notice – Headspace?

#exercise – The Youth Sports Trust?

#learn – Bupa?

#volunteer – National Council for Voluntary Organisations NCVO ?

2. To amplify each other – all members of the group have committed to supporting each other and the wellbeing based activities they do. To demonstrate that WEllbeing begins with a WE – all

3. To role model the values of #teacher5aday and pledge to use it as a tool to address individual wellbeing and encourage at least 5 others who are not on Twitter to do the same – all

4. To create an ‘elevator pitch’ to share with all interested parties explaining the values, vision and strategy behind #teacher5aday (thanks Kirsty SSAT)

5. To develop some literature and resources which can be shared as part of the week to support teachers to improve their wellbeing (Kimberley to lead – Nourish the Workplace)

6. Regular reposting of original ideas behind #teacher5aday for new social media users – all

7. To share the #teacher5aday ideas as part of other cpd delivery e.g. Abbie delivering a LitDrive session with a #teacher5aday element

8. Continue to share #teacher5aday on a variety of social media platforms. E.g Kim Facebook

9. #teacher5aday website to be developed – Kimberley and me

10. Develop regional advocates idea – Me and other interested parties

11. Plan #teacher5aday national conference – all

12. Share #teacher5aday case studies through a variety of media e.g. Phil and Maria’s podcasts, blogs and writing for journals etc – all

13. Support Teachers Empowerment concept and second conference as part of a pop up Pedagoo session

14. Share top teacher5aday tips via micro vlogs following in Rachel’s footsteps as part of her promotion of the last teacher5aday slow chat and the teacher5aday YouTube channel

If any of the ideas above spark your interest then get in touch. Everyone else get National #teacher5aday Week in your diary 30.11.20 – 4.12.20 and watch this space.

Do you want to work in a Well School?

On Thursday (27.2.20) I had the pleasure and privilege of attending my first Youth Sports Trust National Conference. A very early start was more than worth it as I travelled from Hampshire to Coventry to join in the conversation about getting to the heart of a Well School.

I had previously been invited to a meeting at the head office of Bupa in London to share my ideas about teacher wellbeing as part of a very impressive consultation exercise which is now in full flow! This involves the Youth Sports Trust asking teachers their views about a well led, well prepared and well equipped School. I’m my twenty six years in the profession this feels like a potential GAME CHANGER to me! Not only is an organisation with a 25 year history serious about providing a framework to create a healthy culture in all of our schools but they are actually keen to find out from the profession what it might look like BEFORE the implementation phase of this strategy commences in September. The department and government could learn from this approach. True change happens as a result of consultation and discussion rather than diktat!

From the image above Ali Oliver, the CEO of the Youth Sports Trust, set the conversation going both at Bupa and in Coventry by posing the question that all staff need more support for their wellbeing, a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with . The culture in education in my opinion has in some schools turned toxic and a national debate is exactly what is required if we are to address the recruitment and retention crisis we are hurtling towards. How many of your friends or colleagues have had enough? How many of these people are planning their exit strategy? How many have tuned out from their work and are going through their paces?

At the meeting at Bupa HQ in January, Dame Katherine Grainger opened up another element of this essential dialogue by telling her story and explaining how Team GB have developed over the decades. She spoke about the vital importance of wellbeing in high performing teams. As our most successful female Olympian she shared her experiences about the successes of the athletes in 2012 and 2016 but most importantly in my opinion she explained what had changed from London to Rio! In order to continue their upward trend the athletes were supported to perform in a healthy environment. She explained that not all teams had put their athletes first in 2012 and looked after the needs of their people rather than the pursuit of medals.(Read chasing Progress 8 grades at all costs in the education world!) The culture of Team GB became the focus. A healthy one! One that looked after the athletes and safeguarded them as individuals. Toxicity was removed. Best practice was shared across all sectors. The healthiest squads were the most successful and the focus had become looking after the wellbeing of the athletes. This upward trajectory continued as Team GB beat their medal haul as the host nation in 2012 at the Rio games in 2016. The first team to do so in Olympic history! Why could this powerful narrative not be the same in education with the support of the Youth Sports Trust? Creating the conditions for wellness was an essential element to the Olympic success. Is it time for the same approach for teachers and the teaching profession?

What if there was a full court press to support staff to improve their wellbeing? On an individual basis. Not as part of compulsory yoga on a Wednesday or during Fruity / Cake Friday but developed by learning from high performing schools teams where teachers are thriving in healthy positive cultures.

What about if we gathered around the Youth Sports Trust, and others, as agents for change and school leaders were truly supported to make a serious attempt to improve working conditions. To deal effectively with the workload issues that forces teachers out of our system? If teachers could improve their wellbeing then would students do the same? Is it different sides of the same coin?

My worry is if we don’t what might happen next?

The forecast for the number of students in the system remains steady. The number of teachers in the system does not. If we think it is difficult to recruit and retain teachers now the next few years on our current trajectory looks even worse. If the system doesn’t change are we spiralling towards a crisis?

The Youth Sports Trust wants schools to replace their OFSTED banners with information to parents, and other stakeholders holders, about how happy students are in school. If students and teachers are happy will we get healthier outcomes? Bupa have predicted that depression and anxiety are THE health concerns for the next decade and as a profession are we supported to make a difference. Isn’t it time we decided to prioritise our wellbeing for the sake of our students?

The images above show the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by the Youth Sports Trust about the choices parents make about selecting a school for their children. The third bar along in both graphs indicates the importance a school puts on the wellbeing of its students. How many of us want our children to be happy at school? I would suggest the vast majority!

So now is the time to look in the mirror and decide to get your voice heard. If we are not the ones to change the system then who is?

The Youth Sports Trust consultation process continues across the country in March and April. Time to speak up. Hands up who doesn’t want to work in a well school? I know I do.

#teacher5aday #pledge 2020

After a fantastic first national #teacher5aday week (2.12.19 – 6.12.19) it’s time to consider New Year resolutions in the style of a #teacher5aday pledge. 5 years on since the first set of pledges were written the original ideas remain the same.

Consider your wellbeing under the 5 teacher5aday wellbeing themes and put pen to paper to plan how you will look after yourself even more effectively this year.

To date a few teachers have posted their plans for 2020 (see the list below). What we intend to do this year is take the #teacher5aday messages off Twitter at every possible opportunity and into as many staff rooms as possible.  To be discussed and debated during as many break and lunch times from January to December. So just like the Run Everyday January ideas for 2020 could you bring a colleague along for the ride this year? Or what about a #teacher5aday support group at your school?

If you need any ideas then the link to this blog will give you previous posts written by over 250 teachers.

If you would like to post your teacher5aday on my blog then get in touch and if you need any help then please ask. The #teacher5aday network is building everyday. My pledge this year is to maintain the connections made via the pledges. To touch base and provide reminders throughout the year to help create healthy habits that are sustainable.

Looking forward to a healthy and happy 2020.

All the best,


Pledges 2020

Abigail Mann

Kat Howard

Fe Brewer

Rebecca Nodes

Andrew Bernard

2020 #Teacher5aday Pledge.

Gary Henderson