My journey - improving schools through a focus on wellbeing

Suggestions for making wellbeing a priority

Richard Vaughton Former School Leader, Ofsted and Investor In People


For the first five or six years of my career I tried to look after myself and develop a pedagogical approach which worked well for my context. Then, the large all boy secondary I worked at merged with the large all girls secondary creating a school of well over 1000 pupils.  I became the head of the department for PE.

Very shortly after, we had a high turn-over of staff and a number of newly qualified teachers were appointed.

I had no choice but to be very much aware of others’ wellbeing, both personal and professional. They were exciting and rewarding times.

Phrases that came to mind (and still do) are: “Do as you would be done by” and “self worth”.   Both applied to pupils too. The school was the least popular in the town. It had little self worth as a community, and consequently the quality of learning left something to be desired.  Expectations of both staff and pupils were not too high.

It had to change.

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