Going for Gold! The Life Of A Deputy Headteacher

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This is a blog about teacher wellbeing and work-life balance.

My #Teacher5ADay wellbeing blog proved very popular with many of you; a request championed by @MartynReah for teachers to share a commitment towards their own well-being. I thought I would take time out from my typical blogs on teaching and learning, CPD and leadership, synonymous with my @TeacherToolkit blog, and return to a favourite topic of mine, wellbeing, workload and work-life balance in schools.

Investors In People:

Last week, I met once again with Investors in People to consider taking Quintin Kynaston school through the framework to achieve Gold status. Click this and tell everyone; the last time I did this, it was one year ago in my former school. We managed to achieve Silver status. The outcome was a highly detailed report, verifying our appraisal, induction and professional development structures. IiP also provided the school with a detailed action plan in order to move forward to support teacher well-being and enable staff to fulfil their roles to an even higher standard.

Investors in PeopleImage: Investors in People

At Quintin Kynaston, we aim to take teacher well-being and workload very seriously. We know we are nowhere near there yet, but despite the challenges working in a ‘Requires Improvement’ school brings, our intentions are clear. We remain resolute to improve teachers’ working conditions and move towards staff working in outstanding teams! Taking our school through this accreditation framework is not about getting a badge for the wall. And when I first visited QK in May 2014, the badge dated back to 2009; the adviser who I once worked with before, told me last week, that IiP Gold is about developing a framework for everyone to be working in outstanding teams, working towards one goal.

Investors in People

Image: Investors In People

Based on the principle of continuous improvement, the framework is centred on three core principles:

  • PLAN by developing strategies
  • DO by taking action
  • REVIEW by evaluating and improving performance

High Performance:

From September 2015, the framework is changing. IiP have simplified the structure for easier navigation, updated the content to reflect a modern workplace and underpinned the indicators with a progression model for better measurement. The model now looks like this;

Investors in PeopleImage: Investors in People

IiP research shows that clear alignment between people practices and organisation outcomes is the recipe for high performance. At the highest level, IiP look for practices which are culturally embedded across the organisation for sustainable outcomes.

Health and Wellbeing:

As part of the Investors In People Gold framework we will be reaching for, there is also a very useful health and wellbeing tool. The Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Award recognises schools that go the extra mile. We want to go the extra mile for staff working at Quintin Kynaston.

If blogs past, I have shared academic research which highlights that “there is a significant and positive association between the wellbeing variables and the following measures of school performance;” that happy teachers equate to happy students and happy outcomes!

If you look after your staff, your staff will look after your school. Healthy, happy staff are more engaged, motivated and productive.

Wellbeing PosterTweet me?


In 2014, Investors in People found that;

  • over half (54%) of full-time employees felt that their employer didn’t care about their health and wellbeing,
  • and half of them again (48%) said that this led to them feeling less motivated at work

(Investors in People Health and Wellbeing survey, 2014).

Having a supportive culture pays off. What happens if you don’t put your people’s needs first? More sick days, more stress and more money spent on recruitment and training. The Investors in People Health and Wellbeing award helps you to improve performance by fostering a happy, healthy workforce. The award is flexible, easy to use and outcome focused and makes a clear commitment to your employees.

Investors in People

Image: Investors in People

Test Yourself:

How do your Health and Wellbeing practices stack up? Their 20 question test will help you compare against the very best. The framework will ask the school the following themes:

  • Understanding Health and Wellbeing in Your Organisation
  • Staff Needs
  • Consultation
  • Health and Wellbeing Plans
  • Measuring Effectiveness
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing
  • Policies
  • Different Health and Wellbeing Needs
  • Empowerment
  • Induction
  • Management Capabilities
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Health and Wellbeing Management
  • Supporting Team Needs
  • Constructive Feedback
  • Valuing Contribution
  • Meeting Team Needs
  • Understanding the Impact and
  • Feeding into Reviews

If I want to take teacher wellbeing seriously in your school, why not give it a try? The tool is free!

Useful blog? Click on me then!



In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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