Amidst the hustle and bustle of school life, I’ve been allowing myself to devote half an hour a week to the National Academy for Educational Leadership’s Head-To-Head well-being sessions. This may seem a bit selfish, but it must be remembered that everyone from the school community will ultimately benefit from having a headteacher who prioritises their own well-being. Well-being is a national priority and attending the sessions as a headteacher gives all stakeholders a clear message about the status of well-being within the school.
There is no preparation, no travelling and the sessions never run over time. I am also on the school site in the event of an emergency. There is a weekly focus for discussion on a variety of subjects outside of education. The half-hour session gives the brain a break and gives the body the opportunity to relax while enjoying gentle conversation with peers. Having the opportunity to discuss topics outside of education helps to put into perspective those things that can sometimes make you feel like you are battling the waves. When returning to focus on work at school, I feel my brain is more effective at handling the hundreds of things to do and I feel a little lighter.
I have also got to know many peers across Wales through my laptop screen and it has been a privilege to share experiences. Obviously, everyone is too busy on a daily basis, but I would strongly recommend that all headteachers devote half an hour a week to attending the Head-To-Head sessions – you, your family and your whole school will benefit.