In September WE launched a free weekly opportunity to come together as a cross-phase network and to explore our whole school strategies for two areas which are putting additional pressure on the school system: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Mental Health and Wellbeing (MHWB).
Every Monday 3-4pm we alternate our focus as we rotate through webinars, where an external input joins us to deliver training, and forums, which are a space to reflect, discuss and share best practice, as we develop our vision into our provision.
It is important to consider the intersect between these two foci, as more people with a protected characteristic are likely to suffer from mental health issues, as a result of how they are treated, which is further exasperated if we do not feel comfortable to show up as their full authentic self in the workplace.
Hannah Wilson, Associate Director of Whole Education and Co-Founder of Diverse Educators shares her takeaways from the Autumn term’s strand sessions:
- In the Anti-Racism webinar facilitated by Sabrina Edwards, she emphasised that it takes courageous, values-driven leadership from inclusive allies to change our schools’ culture, to diversify our curriculum and to critique our policies to meet the needs of our diverse communities.
- Kelly Hannaghan made us think about our Whole School Approach to MHWB and how we engage all of our stakeholder groups in developing the strategy. She outlined her experience of creating a curriculum for wellbeing to develop the emotional resilience of her pupils.
- In the webinar exploring Flexible Working, Emma Turner, encouraged us to reflect on the benefits of flexing our workforce as both a recruitment tool as well as a retention one.
- Bukky Yusuf shared the Teacher5aDay campaign and modelled how we can embed small changes to our daily and weekly habits to prioritise our wellbeing as teachers and school leaders.
- Listening to each speaker share their expertise, it struck me that the golden thread of each topic was how we create and hold our school culture to create a sense of belonging, to increase visibility and to raise awareness.
In the Spring term you are invited to join us for the following webinars:
- DEI: Disability Awareness – Liz Wright
- MHWB: Supporting Parents and Carers – Lucinda Powell
- DEI: Sex and Gender Equality – Nic Ponsford
- MHWB: Workload and Wellbeing – Kat Howard
- DEI: Sexual Orientation – Hannah Jepson
- MHWB: MHWB Leadership – Clare Erasmus
To sign up to these or future webinars please go to Eventbrite using these links:
Additionally if your school is working towards the Mental Health in Schools Award through the Carnegie School of Education please let us know as it is our intention to bring together the school leads across our network to create some additional peer support and share best practice.