This newsletter contains a wealth of information on all things wellbeing in education. This includes new books, conferences, links to handouts, research reports, relevant articles, etc. Worth checking out ….


Our hearts go out to all those affected by the Christchurch massacre and a shout out to Jacinda Ardern for showing such compassionate leadership. This is what she said at the Christchurch memorial service. It calls to us all to teach our children shared humanity – more connects us than divides us.

We could do with some of that in the UK as the Brexit shambles goes on and on. As someone interested in wellbeing and rights for as many people as possible, I am a supporter of the EU. If anyone is interested in why I take this position, read this brief summary.

GGSWW partners have been busy – here are some of their activities past and planned. If you want to know more about the individuals, organisations and schools affiliated to us check here. If you would like to be added, let us know.

Positive Schools: See Helen Street’s Ted talk on contextual wellbeing. Wellbeing does not lie in competition but in connectedness. This is also the theme of her recent book of the same name that appeared in the last newsletter.

Check out the podcasts on various aspects of wellbeing from the New Zealand Institute for Wellbeing and Resilience.

Minds Ahead: Mental Health International Study Visit– 3 – 5 July in Birmingham. Participants will deepen their understanding of the whole school approach to mental health by meeting school leaders and visiting schools pioneering this agenda.  Participants will share and develop skills, knowledge and experiences from their schools and local context and attend the UK’s Mental Health in Schools Knowledge Exchange.

Leeds Beckett, Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools Mental Health Knowledge Exchange on 5th July. This event gives delegates the opportunity to be at the round table they need to gain wisdom and tips. There will be discussions on topics including student resilience, staff wellbeing, making transition to secondary school, the use of supervision in education, responding to the behaviour of distressed pupils and much more.

For those interested in accreditation for their work on whole school wellbeing see this from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.

Wellbeing Australia have just sent out their autumn newsletter. They have a brief article on the difference between Wellbeing and Happiness which mirrors mine for parents on Wholeness before Happiness.


Professor Jonathan Glazzard, Professor of Teacher Education at Leeds Beckett, has co-authored several relevant books, one with Rachel Bostwick on Positive Mental Health: A Whole School Approach. Published by Critical Publishing, its strength is in the number of ‘critical questions’ posed throughout the text alongside illustrative case-studies.

Margaret Thorsborne and colleagues have a new book, Getting More out of Restorative Practices in Schools, published by Jessica Kingsley. Marg has also developed tools for schools to assess their readiness for the culture change that implementing restorative practices means and actions they can take to help with this.

Conferences coming up

Birmingham, May 8th 2019: Mental health and wellbeing in schools. Run by Association for Pastoral Care in Schools.

Sydney, 6th June 2019: AIS Shine a Light on Wellbeing conference – at the Museum of Contemporary Art overlooking the amazing annual Sydney Vivid light show!

ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) conferences – teachers, SENCOS also invited:

  • June 20th 2019, Cobham, Surrey: Positive Psychology: Children’s Wellbeing and Happiness
  • July 10th 2019, Fareham, Hampshire: Positive Relationships

Surrey Headteachers and Senior Leaders conference, Cobham, 26th June 2019: Staff and school wellbeing

Cornwall, July 1st 2019: Psychology Associates conference, At the Heart of Learning: Raising Aspiration and Achievement for Vulnerable Students

Budapest, August 29th-31st 2019: ENSEC, the biennial conference on social and emotional competencies. Deadline for papers 7th April.

Locarno, Switzerland, November 12th-14th 2019: Second International Conference on Wellbeing in Education Systems

Recent Conferences

We upload handouts for conferences where I have presented or can link to others. These include:

Derbyshire EPS conference Redefining Vulnerability:

BPS DECP conference: School Belonging and Community Safety:

Farnborough Hill and Guildford High Schools:

BPS DECP & SDEP: Wellbeing: Crossing Borders: The work of educational psychologists in the UK:


Although great wealth does not make us happier, poverty undermines all the parameters of wellbeing. Recent research reports increasing poverty for children:

Sir Al Aynsley-Green’s recent book The British Betrayal of Childhood (Routledge, 2019)  is also full of  depressing research statistics on what has been happening for young people in the UK in the last couple of decades – but has a chapter at the end on what is needed in Bringing About Change. Be angry, be hopeful!

And on a more positive note, researchers saying it is about time we focused more on the ‘saintlier’ side of personality – Kindness, empathy and altruism. Read more here.

Other news

If you are a special needs coordinator in the UK you may like to look at the newly-established SENCO forum.

Dr Kelly Ann Allen has set up the Belonging Lab Facebook page for those interested in research in this area.

There will be an issue of Educational and Child Psychology on School Belonging published in June – and a second one later in the year. If you would like to write for this send an abstract to Chris Boyle:

We have extended the special introductory offer for the Wellbeing Stories until the end of June but then the price will rise. All six stories for 8-11 year olds come with teacher and family toolkits. They address test anxiety, transition, perfectionism, organisation skills, loss / depression and entitlement.

This is what Taree High School say about the education set: “It is fantastic and we are very excited to use the stories with our Year 7.”

Circle Solutions

Back to the beginning of this newsletter – about teaching our children shared humanity. Circle Solutions is NOT Circle Time. It aims to help pupils understand themselves in the context of others so they learn to choose ways of behaving that acknowledge that we all matter. If you are running Circles in your class or school please, please complete our survey. We know this intervention works when facilitated according to ASPIRE,  but we need as much evidence as possible.  Click on this link: CIRCLE SURVEY LINK

If you would like to explore Circle Training in the UK, Europe or North America please contact me directly. If you are in Australia please contact Debra Magi in the first instance. Please note that the Intro day is a pre-requisite for the two Trainer days. We will deliver an Intro for 10 – 25 participants and a Trainer program for 4- 10. Currently responding to invitations only – but will go anywhere!

I am currently revising Circle Solutions for Student Wellbeing to emphasise the ASPIRE principles of agency, safety, positivity, inclusion, respect and equity. If anyone has activities they have developed they would like included in the new edition, please let me know soon. If your idea is original and we can use this you will be credited in the book. Published early 2020. There are Circle activities in both the Behaviour Cookbooks and the Wellbeing Stories toolkits.

Please check out the GGSWW website – there is so much more there.  And, of course, contact us if you wish to contribute.   

Thank you for all you do.Sue Roffey