Chiltern Teaching School Hub


These are simple yet effective changes you can make to benefit all. 

1. Time  - Take it when needed and use it in the most effective way possible.

2. Boundaries - have clear boundaries set for work and home and stick to them!

3. Support - See what’s available within school and share with those around you.

4. Voice - Listen to your staff, self and school about the work-life pressures

5. Celebrate -Recognise and celebrate the every day brilliance that occurs

6. Culture - Make well-being a school priority, not a one-off

7. Policy to Plans- Show that voices have been listened to and implement change.


Want to find out more and interested in the research?

Department for Education - wellbeing charter (2021). 


Education Support ‘Teacher Wellbeing index’ (2022)


Coffeng JK, van Sluijs EM, Hendriksen IJM, van Mechelen W, Boot CRL. Physical Activity and Relaxation During and After Work are Independently Associated With the Need for Recovery. 2015:2019  Aug 29];12(1):109–15. 


Ruggeri, K., Garcia-Garzon, E., Maguire, Á. et al. Wellbeing is more than happiness and life satisfaction: a multidimensional analysis of 21 countries. Health Qual Life Outcomes 18, 192 (2020). 


Sustainable Solutions for improved teacher wellbeing: Rico Patzer (2023) 


Prefer to watch? 

Teacher Wellbeing with Kat Howard=

Wellbeing with Dr Emma Kell


Teacher Talk: Wellbeing 

Getting it right as individuals and leaders

Welcome to our educational blog. Here we explore all things pertinent to education, discuss current topics and provide tips, from research and educational experts, to aid practice.


As we start a new term or equally, hit refresh upon a new period, what better time than this to think about wellbeing. From crumbling concrete to post pandemic progress, teaching and education is, as always, full of ever challenging changes.

 So how do we as educators ensure we have a sense of wellbeing, personal identity and take care of our own mental health during the ever changing climate? 

Like many elements of education, there is no one-size fits all magical solution but research does show there are things that we as educators, leaders and individuals can do, to look after the wellbeing of our staff, selves and schools, which in turn, has a positive impact upon our students. 

What is wellbeing?

Research by Ruggeri et al., 2020, investigated the definition and construct of wellbeing across 21 different countries. They defined wellbeing to be ‘the combination of feeling good and functioning well; the experience of positive emotions such as happiness and contentment as well as the 

development of one’s potential, having some control over one’s life [...] a sense of purpose, and experiencing positive relationships. It {...] also allows the individual or population to develop and thrive. 

Furthermore, wellbeing is synonymous with positive mental health (World Health Organisation: 2001). 

Wellbeing is now recognised as crucially important to improving work-life balance, positivity and retaining staff within education - so much so that in 2021, the Department for Education set out their 9 implementation strategies to wellbeing within their ‘Wellbeing Charter’. 

Each year, Education Support conducts their ‘Teacher Well-being Index’ and in 2022, found that 59% of staff have considered leaving education due to pressures on their wellbeing and mental health. 

Importantly then, how can we look after our own wellbeing?

1. Time - Somehow, especially during PPAs, time seems like an elusive phenomenon constantly evading us. It’s often a challenge to find time for our own wellbeing in an ever busy school environment …. But it is important to do so..  

Research has shown that giving ourselves time to stop, think and refresh is important for our wellbeing, recovery time and ability to deal with stressful situations. Whilst some things need to be done to a time-frame - others don’t. Importantly, we are often more efficient in our use of time when we’ve had a break so give yourself one before you plough into the next task (Coffeng et al.,  2015; 2019). If necessary, block out times - In my house-hold, we do ‘No work Wednesdays’ a simple, easy to follow strategy which gives us a dedicated time to switch off and reset. 

2. Boundaries - Assistant Headteacher, Andrea William-Jones, shares how boundaries are crucial when considering your own well-being (2023). Take some time to think about what impacts you and set your own boundaries to aid this. Whether it’s removing work emails from your personal phones, setting out of office responses, saying ‘no’ when necessary or giving yourself a time you will work from and until, boundaries are a really clear way to empower your work-life balance. 

3. Support - We all need support from time to time and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. Whether it's a mentor, peer, family member, school counsellor, colleague or friend, take the time to talk and share with others. Many schools provide amazing CPD opportunities and Mentoring/ Coaching programmes which strengthens positive relationships, giving you autonomy over your work-life. Take a moment to ask what is available and how it could improve your wellbeing. 

What about wellbeing at a whole-school level? 

At a whole-school level, recent research and blogs have shown the following strategies to be effective (Kat Howard: 2023; Rico Patzer 2023; Chris Deller, Headteacher, Bedford Academy 2023; Williams et al., 2022).

1. Give staff a voice - Do regular staff surveys to understand your school climate. Listen to what has been said and make changes as a result to show that their opinions matter. Whether it’s tweaking data drop dates, changing a feedback policy or adapting curriculums, listening to and then reviewing the processes and systems in place can result in a transformational change on wellbeing.  

2. Celebrate - Like our students, we all love an opportunity to celebrate, share and collaborate in our successes. Plan in celebration events but ensure you consider the context and choice of the celebration strategies as some staff prefer private recognition or opportunities as praise, whilst others enjoy communication at a school level. Having a range of ways to celebrate not just achievement but helping one another over a week is amazing for building a sense of belonging (Kat Howard). 

3. Culture not cliche - For it to be effective, time, effort and thought needs to go into change. Adding in one ‘wellbeing’ session will not improve wellbeing over a sustained time period. Think about a wellbeing committee or workload party to truly understand the pressures in place and what can be done to reduce workload. Have a read of the DfEs Wellbeing Index (see references) to review where your school is at.

4. From Policy to Plans - Think carefully about how you, as a school, support staff with their own wellbeing and mental health. Do you have wellbeing as part of your school priority? Are there effective CPD sessions for wellbeing or to address areas that come out of whole-staff surveys, which cause workload stress and pressure? Do you have a whole-school counsellor and place staff can go to? What whole-school strategies are in place for all?

Whatever the strategy, individual or whole-school need, the first step to well-being is thinking about your work-life pressures and starting to address them, a change at a time. So why not give yourself a moment to reflect upon what you can do and celebrate the many positives.

CTSH 'Together Towards Excellence'