• If we don't take care of our teachers, they won't be able to take care of our children

    At the 'Teachers Come First?' conference, we heard from a range of speakers why it is essential for pupils that schools prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.


    In our workshops, we explored why it is important to look after ourselves, as well as to care for others.


    We also heard from schools who have promoted a culture of staff wellbeing - with remarkable results for teachers, support staff and pupils.


    We all left with an action plan to improve the mental health and wellbeing of teachers in our schools.


    Missed our conference? We will see you next year for #TCFC20!

  • Teachers Come First Conference Programme #TCFC19

  • Teachers Come First #TCFC19: About our Speakers and

    Workshop Leaders

    Gill Taylor: Educational Consultant and Psychologist: www.gilltaylor.info

    Workshop 1: 10.30-11.15 ‘Building supportive relationships in school for the emotional wellbeing of all’.

    Gill is an educational psychologist and organisational consultant. She specialises in enabling supportive relationships in schools, positive behaviour and emotional wellbeing. She is a highly experienced national trainer, workshop leader and conference speaker. Gill began her career as a primary school teacher in an inner-city local authority.


    Gill’s work includes developing inclusive policy and practice within schools and children’s services organisations. This work includes supporting teams of teachers in their work with children with particular social and emotional needs; enabling the wellbeing and success of staff across the school. Gill led on developing social inclusion in schools across a city and was a senior adviser with the department for education’s national strategies for developing inclusive practice and improving behaviour and attendance across England. Gill pioneered the Circle of Friends approach in schools across the UK, as a way of supporting inclusion of the most vulnerable and challenging children.

    Jackie Wilson: Empower Education www.empowereducation.co.uk

    Workshop 2: 10.30-11.15 'Take the Helm: Steer a Course through Turbulent Seas' and Panel 11.45-12.15

    Jackie is passionate about seeing a change in the education system: ‘Teachers are amazing people who put their hearts and souls into teaching our children. They do an important and difficult job and deserve to be treated as people whose health and happiness is important’


    She is on a mission to empower the next generation and the ecosystem around them (parents, carers & educators) with a growth mindset, raise their self awareness and self-esteem, create a resilience toolkit, and discover their potential.


    Jackie works in the community and in schools delivering talks, workshops, programmes, INSET days and whole school well-being from Foundation-KS4. She is also a keynote speaker and author of the upcoming book: ‘This is ME – A Journey of Self Discovery for Teens’.

    David Gumbrell: The Resilience Project www.theresilience-project.co.uk

    Workshop 3: 10.30-11.15 'Becoming Self-Raising: How to Give Yourself a Much-Needed Lift' and Panel: 11.45-12.15

    'I have been a teacher in Surrey for over 20 years, in five different schools across the county. I have been a Headteacher, holding positions of responsibility for Maths, ICT and NQT mentoring along the way. Throughout my career, I always endeavoured to develop a team, to nurture an individual teacher’s career, to protect the wellbeing of children and staff. The Resilience Project is a natural progression to these aims'.

    Professor Jonathan Glazzard Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, Leeds Beckett University www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/carnegie-school-of-education/

    Keynote: 11.15-11.45: 'How Teachers' Wellbeing Impacts on Pupil Progress' & Panel: 11.45-12.15

    Professor Jonathan Glazzard currently leads on research in The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Prior to his appointment at Leeds Beckett University Jonathan led Initial Teacher Education programmes in the primary phase at the University of Huddersfield from 2005-15. In 2015 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship for recognition of his contribution to learning and teaching in higher education. From 2015-17 Jonathan worked at Leeds Trinity University in a cross-institutional role which required him to lead innovations in learning, teaching and assessment. In 2016 he was awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy for his strategic contribution to learning and teaching.

    Lindsay Clark, Headteacher Killisick Junior School, Nottingham www.killisick.notts.sch.uk

    Panel: 11.45-12.15

    'Killisick is a happy, well-regarded and caring junior school with a welcoming atmosphere. We have a hard-working staff team, enthusiastic children and supportive governors and parents. The school is committed to raising standards and providing a high quality learning environment. We have enthusiastic, happy, well-mannered children who are keen to learn. The excellent support for pupils leads to pupils' good behaviour, highly positive attitudes and good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.'


    You will see Killisick pupils asking delegates for their views on teacher wellbeing.

    Steve Waters, Teach Well Alliance www.teachwellalliance.com

    Workshop 4: 13.00-13.45: A Whole-School Approach to Tacking/Preventing Teacher Burnout and Panel: 11.45-12.15

    Steve Waters taught English and Drama for 30 years, including as a Head of English and Assistant Headteacher, before working for two local authorities as a member of a school improvement team. He has been freelance since 2011, delivering training in English, Literacy, Leadership and Management. Steve founded the Teach Well Alliance in 2017 to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff in schools and specialises in teacher Burnout. He is an online tutor and assessor for the NPQSL and holds the NPQH. Steve is a qualified counsellor and Mental Health First Aider. He is co-author of 'Doing Your Research Project' which was published in its 7th edition by Open University Press in 2018. Steve has four children and lives in Manchester. He tweets @teachwellall

    Dr Edward Sellman, University of Nottingham www.nottingham.ac.uk

    Workshop 5: 13.00-13.45: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

    Dr Edward Sellman researches mindfulness, transpersonal psychology and well-being as both a member and convenor of postgraduate research of the Centre for Research in Human Flourishing.

    Edward originally trained as an art/primary-school teacher and then worked with children experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in a range of settings. He is also a qualified mindfulness teacher. He is the module convenor of 'Responding Mindfully to Challenging Behaviour' offered on several Masters programmes.

    Edward is editor of 'Creative Learning for Inclusion' and co-editor of Restorative Approaches to Conflict in Schools, both published by Routledge, alongside 'Mediation Matters: Creating Peaceful Schools through Peer Mediation', published by LDA . He is also a member of the International Journal of Pastoral Care in Education editorial board and occasionally reviews articles for Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties and the British Educational Research Journal.

    Edward is also a practising artist and winner of the Djanogly Prize at the University Summer Art Exhibition 2010 and the Attenborough Prize 2011.

    Sarah Stones: Plain Sailing Motivation www.plainsailingmotivation.co.uk

    Workshop 6: 13.00-13.45: Why understanding motivation is crucial to wellbeing

    Sarah Stones is a Motivation Specialist, passionate about helping everyone to shine. She combines her knowledge of intrinsic motivation and positive psychology with a practical, solutions focussed approach. Sarah delivers 1-1 coaching and fun, interactive CPD sessions on understanding motivation. Sarah works with teachers, pupils and their parents/guardians to develop their understanding of intrinsic motivation and to use that knowledge to maintain and improve their own motivation, engagement and wellbeing and understand how to use that knowledge to support other staff, colleagues and friends. Sarah supports organisations, enabling them to recruit, manage and retain motivated and engaged staff.

    Jennie LeMare: Capella

    Workshop 7: 14.00-14.45 Self-Care for Teachers to Enhance Wellbeing

    Jennie's experiential workshop is an opportunity to explore simple and effective ways of keeping work stress to a minimum. It gives insight into how individuals can use their inner resources to stay centred and balanced, even in challenging circumstances or when approaching tricky interactions.

    As demands on teachers grow, self-care has never been more important to enhance wellbeing and avoid symptoms of Burnout. Drawing on knowledge from evolutionary biology, compassion focussed therapy, Mindfulness and Social Action Methods, this session introduces simple techniques that can instantly make a difference to your levels of self-compassion and effectiveness in all that you do.

    Justin Robbins, Fit 2 Communicate www.fit2communicate.com

    Workshop 8: 14.00-14.45 Stress-free parental engagement

    Justin is a communication professional with over 20 years of experience helping organisations to communicate and engage their employees. In 2014, along with Karen Dempster, he set up Fit2Communicate to make a difference to education through communication. Justin and Karen saw an absolute need to reduce stress and misunderstanding in schools caused by inadequate communication practices. Their book, in which they describe their unique school communication philosophy, was published in 2017, and is called "How to build communication success in your school". Justin and Karen now work directly with schools to help them to improve how they communicate.

    Steve Judge, Paratriathlete and Motivational Speaker www.steve-judge.co.uk

    Keynote: 15.00-15.45 'Self-Motivation: Drawing on Self-Compassion and Compassion from Others'

    Steve Judge was involved in a car crash in Sheffield in 2002 which resulted in a partial amputation of his right leg below the knee and ligament damage to his left knee. As a keen marathon and 10k runner, it would have been understandable if Steve had concluded that his running days were over. However, he was determined that he would overcome his injuries and became a paratriathlete. He now tells the story of how he motivated himself all over the UK, including to schools and businesses. His keynote presentations and workshops are adapted to the audience, raising aspirations, improving motivation and including emotional and personal PSHCE education suitable for young people of various ages and backgrounds. His performance covers many ‘keystage’ areas and can also be used in ‘Enterprise’ days for staff CPD training.

  • A special message from your Conference Hosts

    Watch the videos below our photos. Find out who we are. Learn why we were inspired to launch the Teachers Come First? conference.

    Jackie Wilson: Empower Education

    Helping teachers, parents and children to understand and manage their emotions and reach their potential

    David Gumbrell: The Resilience Project

    The Resilience Project provides practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.

    Steve Waters: Teach Well Alliance

    Implementing a whole-school staff wellbeing and mental health programme