Independent Schools' Wellbeing

Thursday 30 Apr 2020 - Wednesday 6 May 2020
Digital delivery - modules start at 3 pm
Practical ways to enhance your whole-school wellbeing culture


Why is this conference relevant?

‘90% of school leaders have seen an increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety or stress over the past five years.’ - Young Minds

Independent schools are prioritising proactive pastoral support and curriculum opportunities to equip pupils with the tools to manage emotions and challenges. Many pupils put themselves under immense pressure to meet high expectations of family, self and peers, and anxiety is presenting at an ever-younger age.

This conference will give you new and best practice ideas to increase your pupils’ resilience, coping strategies and wellbeing.

What can I expect?

In-depth keynotes with leading experts and a choice of workshops including:

  • practical strategies for equipping young people to manage anxiety, challenge and change
  • creative solutions that support growing mental health needs
  • pastoral care and PSHE curriculum ideas which build resilience and a talking culture
  • engaging staff wellbeing ideas which are sustainable and effective.

Who should attend?

  • Headmaster/Headmistress
  • Deputy Head/Assistant Head
  • Pastoral Head
  • Housemaster/Housemistress
  • Chaplain 
  • Nurse
  • Counsellor
  • PSHE Co-ordinator
  • Wellbeing Lead
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead

What our previous delegates have said 

‘In a time poor world, Optimus provided a targeted, useful, highly interesting day – full of practical, thought-provoking content.’ Head of Pupil Wellbeing, St Edward’s Oxford

‘Lots of ideas to take back and helpful for creating policies that connect to all stakeholders.’  ACS International School

‘Very high quality. Great to mix with like-minded professionals who care about young people and want to make a positive difference to their lives.’ Assistant Head, Epsom College

‘A highly informative day with talks by experts who have enlightened us and given us practical tools to help our students’ wellbeing.’ Housemistress, Bishop’s Stortford College

In partnership with:



Resources that will be available to download once registering for conference:

1. Anxiety strategy booklet

Use this strategy booklet, created in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England, to ensure all staff are aware of how to identify anxiety, understand what it is, and can support pupils.

2. Create a culture that actively promotes staff wellbeing

Wellbeing adviser Thérèse Hoyle shares a five-point plan for improving staff wellbeing in your school.

3. Example staff wellbeing survey 

Mike Lamb provides an example survey to send out to staff. This staff survey is being used as an opportunity to gather information on staff wellbeing, the views of staff in the workplace and encourage 'staff voice'

4. Managing high parental expectations

Over-engaged parents can be challenging for schools to work with. Fiona Carnie offers ways for schools and parents to build and maintain successful relationships.

5. Promoting positive body image

Having a healthy body image can increase self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing. Judith Staff describes ways to talk to pupils about body image which promotes positive language and thinking.

6. Talking to young people about suicide

Suicide is a traumatic event with devastating consequences. Sarah Kessling offers helpful things to say to young people who have been bereaved by suicide or are experiencing suicidal ideation.

7. Using a staff wellbeing survey to shape your wellbeing culture

Staff wellbeing won't work as an add on; it needs to be embedded in your school culture. Rather than doing wellbeing to staff, use this survey from Mike Lamb to ask them what they want and need.