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Be courageous, be you: how I realized to set boundaries as a college chief

Andrea William-Jones is an assistant headteacher at Winterbourne Academy, South Gloucestershire, a part of the Olympus Belief. She tells us how teaching and setting constructive boundaries for herself has improved her wellbeing.

Wellbeing is about having the braveness to do what works for you.

As an assistant headteacher in a big secondary faculty, I’m answerable for 960 younger folks together with a crew of employees together with help employees, 9 ECTs and a handful of trainees. As with anybody within the career, it’s tough to maintain work-life steadiness.

The pandemic introduced constructive advances in how we do many issues in faculties, just a few of that are nonetheless with us – like digital dad and mom’ evenings and direct contact between dad and mom and employees by electronic mail. Though these are nice for constructing good working relationships between academics and fogeys, incessantly academics obtain requests exterior of faculty hours. We encourage our employees to not entry their emails exterior of faculty hours or exterior time period time, however typically the boundaries can nonetheless be blurred. At our college, we despatched a request out to oldsters that they solely contact academics throughout termtime, which has helped some members of employees handle an inflow of requests.

Setting your individual boundaries

Training social media will be nice for inspiration, you’ll little question recognise a feed of classroom set ups and show modifications in addition to among the implausible issues colleagues stand up to over the summer time holidays. I like to look and add the odd like, however lately I attempt to spend my free time away from social media and the pressures that include it.

My summer time holidays start with summer time faculty for our new yr 7s – a possibility for our incoming cohort to spend time attending to know one another and their new environment earlier than key stage 3 studying begins in earnest come September. It’s nice enjoyable, and massively appreciated by our studying neighborhood, however it’s a complete week of planning and supply exterior of regular faculty hours which is a giant ask. Every year, I at all times really feel a large stress to have the ability to swap off instantly on the finish of the week. For me, being disciplined to activate the ‘out of workplace’ reply and provides specific instructions to new dad and mom concerning deadlines for queries has actually helped.  I do know that after I combine the Welsh cake dough for crew breakfast on the final day that the vacation beckons!

Prioritising your self

I give attention to the wellbeing of my crew however have been admittedly woeful at enthusiastic about myself. We’d like boundaries. I wanted boundaries – and that’s how I met Gemma Drinkall of HeadSphere, an academic wellbeing coach.  Gemma and I acquired speaking at a WomenEd Southwest occasion and I used to be eager to know extra about her work. Her strategy was refreshing and the teaching impactful – there may be nothing to match with the ability of getting your individual phrases mirrored again at you. It actually makes you assume.

As a working mum, I additionally instil in colleagues that household comes first.  My dedication to have ‘one of the best vacation ever’ was changing into a stress in itself, and Gemma helped me to see that. She additionally helped me discover the braveness to do what labored for me. To learn if I wished to learn, to sit down within the backyard if I wished to sit down within the backyard. To cancel plans and be egocentric, if that’s what I wanted on the time.

So, as soon as the summer time holidays roll spherical, I’ll swap off emails and take away them from my telephone. Boundaries have turn out to be a part of my life and I’m all the higher for it. By no means be afraid to say ‘no’ and be inquisitive about what works for you. Be courageous. Be you.


Discover out extra concerning the employees wellbeing constitution

The training employees wellbeing constitution is a declaration of help for, and a set of commitments, to the wellbeing and psychological well being of everybody working in training

Check out the employees wellbeing constitution.



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