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Leadership, Redesigning Schools

#Teacher5aday – Latest Update from @LeadingLearner

My original post on #Teacher5aday: Because We Are All Worth It set myself a series of mini challenges around my own well-being. 

The initiative by Martyn Reah came at a good time for me as I had recently completed leading a massive capital building programme and forming a multi academy trust.  It was time to readjust my work life balance or lack of it.  This update is around my attempts to connect, exercise and volunteer.


The term has been a busy one, being invited to join the HeadsRoundTable Core Group and lots of work on the SSAT(UK) Vison 2040 pamphlet which was released on Thursday.  It was great to meet up at the launch event with some of the team who helped put it together and friends at SSAT(UK).


After the event I caught up with my son who is now working on an internship down in London.  We shared a meal and talked about everything he was doing before travelling home together for the weekend.  It’s with a sense of pride and joy, which I feel for all three of our children that I watch him grow up.  Our surprise that he hadn’t brought home his washing shifted to amazement when he told us he had done it on the Wednesday night so everything would be ready for work on Monday.  Times change, family matters and with our children stretched from Australia to the room upstairs I must remain connected.


Cath and I are still walking and talking.  Following a recent documentary on fat intake and food, which promoted interval training as a particularly beneficial type of exercise, I’ve taken up the new exercise.  Apparently interval training leads to the body continuing to burn fat for 24 hours after you stop exercising.  With my sweet tooth and biscuit intake I need all the help I can get.  I’ve been going to the gym for probably a couple of decades now and the rowing machine is my greatest cardiovascular challenge.

interval training

I’ve changed what I do to include two minutes rowing followed by a minutes rest repeated as part of my gym routine.  I think I’m supposed to do this seven times but as the picture shows I’m not quite there yet.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is getting weak … I think age is catching up with me.


At the turn of the year I didn’t know how I was going to meet the volunteering element of the #teacher5aday challenge.  It came by chance when I was asked to join Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s Local Education Provider Committee by Professor Mark O’Donnell.  He was charming and realistic knowing the pressures the day job can bring so I committed to joining the committee..

Mark O'Donnell

I know I will learn a lot and hopefully be able to make a contribution.  As time goes by and the relationship strengthens there may be some great opportunities created for our students in terms of work placements, job opportunities and apprenticeships.  Some of our courses at GCSE and post-16 may also benefit from the links with front line perspectives offered by professionals from Blackpool Victoria Hospital which is a couple of minutes walk from St. Mary’s.

The challenge of a work life balance continues.




  1. Pingback: ORRsome blogposts April 2015 | high heels and high notes - April 30, 2015

  2. Pingback: Summer Reflections on Well-Being #Teacher5aday | @LeadingLearner - August 9, 2015

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