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Headteacher Wellbeing

Page last updated: 29/11/2023

Essex recognises wellbeing as a universal entitlement for all. We believe the most effective schools place the wellbeing of all at the heart of everything it aspires to achieve. The most effective organisations recognise its staff as its greatest asset and value and protect wellbeing. 

Wellbeing is defined as: 

'a sustainable state in which every individual realises their own potential, copes with the typical stresses of professional life, works productively, resiliently and effectively, and is able to make a significant contribution to their community embedding a culture of compassion, kindness, hope, connection and belonging for themselves and all stakeholders.'

Headteachers are incredibly creative and resilient when dealing with setbacks and dilemmas. It can feel like there isn't a day that goes by without another crisis arising. But functioning in a crisis zone is exhausting, unsustainable and damaging to one's own wellbeing. There is a need to bring oneself back into the equilibrium where one can thrive in. A resilient leader knows what takes them from pressure and into stress, but also how to rebalance in times of chaos and crisis.

Effective leadership values and protects wellbeing and instills an ethos of responsibility for one's own wellbeing as well as a responsibility to the wellbeing of all others.  Effective schools value relationships highly.  They promote a culture of getting the best from every individual and support individuals to get the best from themselves, in order to achieve the best from its children, young people, staff and school community. 

This needs to start with the headteacher who is key to promoting a culture of getting the best from every individual, and support individuals to get the best from themselves. 

Below are some helpful materials to support the ECC Wellbeing Strategy. 

Alongside this strategy is the DfE Education Staff Wellbeing Charter .  The DfE is encouraging all state funded schools and colleges to sign up to the charter, as a shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff. 


Guidance for, and Examples of a Staff Wellbeing Policy

Presentations and Recorded Training Sessions

Further support and information on supporting staff wellbeing​ can be found on the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Portal for Schools.