At Headrest, we believe that both a collegial and system-led approach to headteacher wellbeing are essential. What we have learnt since we launched our free service is that there is an awful lot of great work going on out there to support headteacher wellbeing that needs to be shared. On the flip side, unfortunately, there are some headteachers who aren't as lucky. It is these colleagues that we really need to reach out to, new headteachers especially.
What we try and do at Headrest when a colleague contacts us is to listen and then try and help them rebalance and recalibrate. If that doesn't work, we then try and signpost colleagues to a number of organisations we trust and who support our work. These currently include the Chartered College of Teaching, SSAT, Navigate NDC, Ambition Institute, Satis Education and Forum Strategy. There are more to come over the coming weeks.
What is even more important though, is that we build a peer-to-peer network, where we can refer colleagues on to other headteachers who understand the challenges, and can offer a sympathetic ear. Authenticity is everything here, and so we want to build up a network of headteachers who not only have the track record, but more importantly, know what it's like to sit in your chair.
This is where we need your help. Over the coming months we want to encourage as many headteachers and system leaders as possible to write short blog posts on Headteacher Wellbeing as part of our Headwell series. It can be on anything - strategies you have used, resources that you rely on, whole-school approaches and techniques, go-to books. Anything really. In particular, it's the personal stories that matter, such as your own experiences and why it's important as a headteacher to always put your own oxygen mask on first and not to feel guilty about it.
We'd love to hear from you. We only need about 500 words, so if you have something to share, please either DM us on Twitter, or contact us via the website.