VIEWS From the pen of... David Gumbrell Fromthepenof...DavidGumbrell

The Third R of Resil ienc e – howwe all need a LIFT!


Thismonth, in our ongoing series looking at authorsworking in UK education,we hear from DAV

tt to start and to help teachers feel great about wo

I think that there is now a common agreement that th e number of teachers who have already left the profession is

concerningly high. However, what is staggering, is how little we are doing to address the problem.We seem to be continuing to plough on regardless, keeping up the

attempt to ‘keep u relentless speed of

pushing on regardl on the direction of not ‘taking stock’;

change. In an p’, schools are not reflecting

ess.We need to travel, just

change direction, rather than travelling in the same rut.

However, if we did stop to consider our option, there is a viable alternative! If we agree that ‘Recruitment’ is the issue, then the challenge therefore shifts to the ‘Retention’ of staff that we already have.We need to listen to staff, value teachers, set realistic limits and to trust our teachers.

The third part of this proposed solution is the third R, ‘Resilience’. We need to spend more time managing our emotional selves.We need to consider the impact that our emotions, stresses and strains have on those around us. In short, we need to learn how to proactively deal with pressures of the job. If we allocated staff meeting time to address these concerns if we developed a culture where we could speak openly about well-being then we would, in my opinion, have a happier workforce.


Everyone is somewhere on the scale of well-being. Resilience ebbs and flows over time, but we all have to deal with it on a daily basis. However, we tend to think that it is someone else’s problem, not ours. Or, that others are coping, and we aren’t. Not wanting to be the odd one out, we keep quiet and carry on. However, imagine talking about mental health in an informal way. Imagine if there was a way of guiding these discussions so that we could all proactively speak about resilience and our common strategies to deal with the pressures of the job. Rather than being reactionary, we could pre- empt issues and thus manage them before they manifest themselves fully.

Well, I didn’t have that ‘ResilienceManual’ when I was a Headteacher, so I felt that I needed to write it. I wanted to be the one who stepped forward to promote both the debate, but also be the one who offered a potential solution. That was my motivation to write LIFT! I wanted to provide a way to provoke well-being discussions that could take place in staffrooms across the country. A way of starting conversations so that all had a voice; where all had a contribution that was both welcomed and listened to.

Resilience can’t be a topic for an INSET and then forgotten. It needs to be a ‘regular and often’ approach to maintain a sense of well-being, a s ense of belonging and a sense of common humanity . We are doing our best, but we may be able to do more if we were as compassionate to ourselves as we are to those in our care.

To fi

To find out more, download the sample chapter fr followi

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AVID GUMBRELL, author of LIFT!, a bookwritten rt teacher we

well-being discussions in schools, work.

BritishEduca cational SuppliersAs

VIEW S British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) rs Association(BESA)

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Looking for th e best sources? Check out e ERAwinners

Thismonth in his regular column for Education Today, PATRICK HAY

AT ty

back at lastmonth’s Educational Resources Awards and celebrates the depth and diversity of talent o n displa y.

AYES, Director of BESA, looks Aw

British education resources are

norm, how can over. But given


It was in attempting to address this that BESA launched the Educational Resources Awards two decades ago, to

something truly shine a light on

field. I have the privilege of chairing the

judging for the ERAs at BESA’s offices where, for two days each year, our offices are full to the brim with resources, from a range of interactive whiteboards, to stacks of just-published textbooks and newly designed stationery items.

A panel of expert judges, who are leading practitioners in their field, draw upon their expertise to allow the cream of the crop to be showcased. The winners are announced at and last month saw many of the UK’s leadi event in Birmingham.

ng companies attend the a gala event each year –

The winner?Well there are 18 categories, from best SEN resource to Exporter of the Year. But the Grand Prix this year went to Smar t Kids UK, headed byManaging Director Ceri Stone, who the judges said, “offer a full range of products, that meet the needs of schools today at an affordable price, demonstrating excellent customer service”.

The best new player was Boolino, whose Fiction Express, “fosters a love for reading at home and school in an engaging and interactive way by linking authors with students alongside a wide range of supporting materials for the teacher”.

A particular ERA favourite for me is the newly introduced category of school/supplier collaboration – as it brings to life the fantastic way in which UK educational suppliers are engaging and transforming the way children are taught classrooms in partnershi p with teachers.

This year the award went to Sparx and the TedWraggMAT. As the judges put it, “merges from grassroots evidence from quantitative and qualitative research in schools and a range of pedagogies about how young people learn. Teachers, students and parents work alongside Sparx in partnerships that raise achievement in maths. This is a truly collaborative venture.” You can view all of the winners at, including all of the finalists too. Indeed, to be a finalist at a prestigious awards event like the ERAs is a major achievement in itself. However, to actually win means you are doing something truly remarkable to drive up standards of education Congratulations t o all the winner s.


For information fromBESA contact: 020 7537 4997 ww www. 31

ground-breaking in thei r the resources doing

renowned for their excellence the world high standards are the you identify the very


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