February 3, 2021
Rachel Lofthouse is Professor of Teacher Education in the Carnegie School of Education. She has a specific research interest in professional learning, exploring how teachers learn and how they can be supported to put that learning into practice.
Rachel is a teaching educator and researcher. Her interest starts with student teachers, but extends to teachers and educators at all career stages and in all sectors. Ensuring that teachers keep learning is critical when the policy and practice landscapes of education keep shifting. Rachel has a particular interest in how teachers learn through approaches such as coaching, mentoring, lesson study, professional enquiry and inter-professional practice. She marries these interests with a concern for the development of innovative pedagogies and curriculum design. Key to all of these are the opportunities for that professionals at all stages of their career and in all roles have for dialogue and creative and critical thinking.
January 27, 2021
This week I spoke with the inimitable Andy Buck, who generously shared his knowledge, experience and wisdom on all things wellbeing and coaching. A geography teacher by trade, Andy was a headteacher for thirteen years at two schools in east London. In his last year of headship, his school was judged outstanding in all categories and Andy was designated a National Leader of Education. In 2009 he became a Director at the National College for School Leadership, leading on the London Challenge programme. He was subsequently responsible for setting up the government’s flagship Teaching Schools programme before being appointed as Managing Director at United Learning, one of the country’s largest academy groups.
Since 2014, Andy has founded Leadership Matters which aims to improve the educational outcomes for pupils by supporting great leadership development. Leadership Matters is a web-based membership organisation that offers school leaders access to high quality online development tools and other leadership articles, videos and blogs.
Andy was invited to become a Fellow of the RSA in 2015 and was made a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching in 2018. He is also Honorary Vice President at the Geographical Association and Honorary Education Adviser to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
January 20, 2021
This week on the show I'm joined by Dan Edwards. Dan is the headteacher of the Woodstock Primary Academy in Leicester and I first came across him when I read his blog 'Acknowledging the empty cup' in which he writes about how he took up running. Dan has now run three half-marathons, nine marathons and four ultra-marathons and has a plan to run five marathons in five days for charity. As a runner myself, and someone who understands how important exercise is to a healthy mind, I was really interested in how while working as a headteacher, he fit in the running. In this interview, Dan tells us exactly how he fits in running and how you can make time for a pastime too. (It doesn't have to be running but I'm hoping that Dan's story might make you more likely to give it a try.) Dan also explained what he is referring to in his blog 'Repositioning the doughnuts'.
January 13, 2021
In this episode of the show I'm joined by Jonny Uttley. Jonny is the CEO of the Education Alliance trust. He has extensive school leadership experience having worked in senior leadership teams in good and outstanding schools for the last 15 years and he is an accredited National Leader of Education.
Under Jonny’s leadership, South Hunsley School was in the top 5% of all schools nationally for progress at Key Stage 4 in each of the last 4 years. The sixth form is also in the top 10% of all providers across the country. South Hunsley School has won the Pupil Premium Award for Yorkshire and the Humber twice in the last 4 years in recognition of the outstanding progress made by disadvantaged students.
Jonny co-authored the book 'Putting Teachers First' a seminal book that provides a blueprint for creating a culture of wellbeing in schools by focusing on staff.
January 5, 2021
elen Kelly is a researcher, writer and consultant in the field of school wellbeing. Between 2006 and 2020 she led international schools in Bangkok, Berlin and Hong Kong. Prior to this Helen was member of the English legal profession, representing workers in the area of health and safety at work.
Helen is most known for her work on school leader stress and wellbeing. She was awarded an Ed.D from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2017 with a thesis entitled “International Schools as Emotional Arenas: Facing the Leadership Challenges in a German Context”. She also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology.
Helen is well-known on the conference circuit in Asia. She has consulted with schools and delivered professional development workshops on both school leader and teacher wellbeing across three continents. She also advises a number of UK organisations that support school leaders and governors. Helen writes for several well-known educational publications and is a regular guest blogger and podcaster. Through her work as The Positive Principal, Helen aims to provide practical support to teachers, school leaders and those responsible for running and supporting schools to enhance wellbeing and maximise the potential of the whole school community.
Helen is a qualified yoga teacher and has taught on 200 hour yoga teacher training courses. She has travelled hundreds of thousands of miles in over 50 countries on a motorbike with her husband. Helen retired from her work in schools in June 2020 and is currently based in beautiful North Wales.
December 16, 2020
Dr Jill Berry is the formerHead of Dame Alice Harpur School in Bedford. Since leaving headship in 2010, she has worked as an Associate for the National College for Teaching and Leadership, carried out a range of educational consultancy work and completed a part-time Doctorate in Education, researching the transition from deputy headship to headship.
Jill has been involved in #WomenEd, a network designed to support aspiring and serving women leaders in education, since its inception in 2015. She has conducted academic research on the development of the initiative with Dr Kay Fuller from Nottingham University; spoken at several #WomenEd events, and contributed a chapter to the #WomenEd book:‘10% Braver – Inspiring Women to Lead Education’.
In this episode Jill and I have a great discussion about how we can recognise our unconscious biases as leaders and adapt our working processes to address them and make a commitment to leading more diverse schools and organisations. We also explore how supporting diversity can create better wellbeing.
Jill is an advocate for the opportunities presented by social media for networking and professional development, tweeting @jill berry102 and blogging jillberry102.blog
December 7, 2020
Liz is a leading expert in Positive Education in the UK. She has developed several pioneering approaches to early intervention and prevention through her professional practice and research. As a practising Positive and Organisational Psychologist, she has led Worth-it in its work supporting hundreds of schools and organisations and over 3,000 professionals to develop the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of children and young people. Liz is a Teaching Fellow at Loughborough University teaching Applied Positive Psychology and Organisational Psychology. She previously taught at Bucks New University and also sat on the advisory board for the Leeds Becket University, Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.
Liz was amongst the first people in the world to obtain the dual MSc Qualification in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology (MAPPCP). Her masters project research, exploring how Coaching and Positive Psychology can help vulnerable young people prevent mental health problems was published in 2016. She has since built on this work in developing whole school and organisational approaches to preventing mental health problems in children and young people. Within whole school or organisational approaches, Liz has developed a specialism in staff wellbeing. She is Module Leader on the BPS Accredited, MSc Work Psychology Module in Wellbeing and Work, at Loughborough University. She is also a peer reviewer for the European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology. Liz has over 10 years’ experience applying Coaching Psychology, gaining a PG Certificate in Coaching in 2009. She is also a qualified careers advisor, with a background in training and development, and preventing social disadvantage.
November 29, 2020
Suneta has worked in primary schools for over 20 years and has been headteacher in a number of primary schools in different contexts and circumstances. She now works to support wellbeing in school in response to the current retention crisis and the focus on wellbeing. Suneta runs the Cultivate, Coaching and Consulting company along with the Every Teacher Matters project. She is dedicated to teachers' and leaders' happiness. I'm sure you'll be inspired by this conversation in which she says we are people first and professionals second. Suneta is also a mum to three children, one of whom has complex disabilities. She has shown resilience and tenacity to support her son whilst also going back to work as a headteacher. Hearing about how she has coped (and sometimes not coped!) under pressure is awe-inspiring! Suneta also talks in this episode about setting boundaries and knowing yourself better in order to do so. She believes that saying no to others is saying yes to yourself. The mental health of staff in schools has never been more important and Suneta shares her experience of supporting mental health in schools and what you can do to ensure this is at the top of your list of wellbeing priorities.
November 23, 2020
Phil Sharrocks joined me for this week's episode. He's an ex-headteacher, consultant and foster carer and he says it like it is! He worked in four schools that he supported to improve rapidly. He took one school from inadequate to good in fifteen months and moved it from the bottom 20% to the top 15% of schools for progress. He's an influencer on Linked in which is where I first encountered him and his message about allowing teachers to teach really resonated with me. Phil really cares about teachers and teaching and is particularly passionate about making learning fun - for teachers and pupils. His aim as a headteacher was always to create happy, engaged teachers and learners. Ofsted described Phil as inspirational. I'm sure you'll find him an inspiration too.
You can find Phil on Linked In and Twitter @philsharrock
November 15, 2020
This week we have an interview with education and leadership coach and consultant Hannah Wilson. Hannah specialises in a broad range of areas including diversity, inclusion and equality and mental health and wellbeing. Hannah is an ex-headteacher and English teacher and co-founder of #WomenEd. In the interview we focus on leading from your values and how you can become a more resilient leader. Hannah also talks about how she created a wellbeing culture as a founding headteacher and about how all of her decisions as a headteacher were values based, including the recruitment process. Hannah was able to offer flexible and part time working for all of the roles in her school including senior leadership roles. She is a great role model for how leaders in schools can take a fresh approach to leadership and do things differently. Hannah and I discuss the importance of coaching for leadership and for wellbeing and how it can contribute to the ability of leaders to lead with authenticity.