I have just come back from a week in Queensland running seminars for school leaders entitled Why Wellbeing? Hosted by the Association of Independent Schools Queensland, this was generously made available to all sectors.
The evidence is overwhelming that a focus on wellbeing in school underpins not only mental health and resilience but also pro-social behaviour and academic outcomes – and increases teacher wellbeing. Why on earth wouldn’t you do it?
I met some wonderful educators but nearly all were already committed to these ideas – one school Principal told me that he had jettisoned his behaviour policy in favour of a ‘resilience and relationships policy’ – how good is that!? But we need to find other ways of reaching those who need convincing – those who think that high levels of control, competition rather than collaboration, a focus on test scores and zero tolerance policies make for effective education. They don’t. Schools that build high social capital, focus on strengths, and use authority to empower others, not only do better for more individuals but are also more likely to promote healthy communities – both within schools and for the future.