1st Edition

Leading Mindfully for Healthy and Successful Schools Beyond the Traditional Progressive Divide

By Aurora Reid Copyright 2023
    172 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Schools are increasingly expected to improve mental health and well-being and academic outcomes for students. However, the debate about well-being and school improvement is often unhelpfully polarised with attachment-informed and restorative-justice approaches pitted against structures and systems that instil discipline. This book seeks to take a ‘middle way’, looking at how these perspectives might complement one another, and argues that healthy teacher-student relationships require an adult that is both attuned to their students’ needs and able to hold boundaries with them.

    Setting out conception of leadership that is clear, compassionate, and self-aware, Leading Mindfully for Healthy and Successful Schools draws on therapeutic and educational research to identify key strategies for improving well-being across schools that are sustainable in the long term. This book is divided into three sections – Leading Yourself, Leading School Culture and Leading in the Classroom – and the chapters cover the following:

    • Interpersonal neurobiology and the role that attachment plays in our work
    • Self-care and how this can be built into school life
    • The role of structures and relationships
    • Building trust
    • Radical inclusion
    • Building calm and effective classrooms
    • Healthy adult authority

    Including reflective activities, thought-provoking case studies and key takeaways for every chapter, this is an essential read for all current and aspiring school leaders.

    Foreword, Introduction, Section 1. Leading Yourself, 1. Leading Mindfully, 2. The Imprint of Authority, 3. Self Care, Section 2. Leading School Culture, 4. A Middle Way, 5. A Safe Base, 6. Streamlined Schools, 7. Radical Inclusion, 8. Support Yourself, Section 3. Leading In The Classroom, 9. A Mindful Classroom, 10. The Mindful Teacher, Conclusion, References


    Aurora Reid has worked as a senior leader in several schools. As a qualified DSL and SENDCo, she has led primarily on inclusion but has also held curriculum and teacher-development roles. She is passionate about inclusive leadership in the broadest sense, as that is how we build equity and care for all into the heart of our schools. Aurora is currently a consultant based in London. She blogs at streamlinedSENDCo.com.

    "This absolutely fascinating book takes the lens of mindfulness and applies it to the various strands of professional behaviour and practice. Aurora Reid has drawn on research to underpin her arguments in a way that is light touch but also conveys confidence that we should all be taking care of ourselves, our colleagues, and our pupils: not in some wishy-washy, feel-good way, but in an intentional way that preserves and enhances energy, rather than depleting it. There are some excellent case studies, bringing this to life: we all need to hear from heads who don’t work late or at weekends and who also lead stunningly successful schools. Highly recommended."

    Mary Myatt, Education Writer and Curator of Myatt & Co

    "Stimulating and thought provoking… a genuinely scholarly attempt to bring together very divergent views into something that doesn’t fall apart when you shake it."

    Ben Newmark, Deputy Head Teacher

    "Practical yet makes you reflect. A brilliantly helpful handbook for leaders and a timely reminder to slow down and take care of me, as this affects my ability to lead others."

    Jane Manzone, Teacher @HeyMissSmith

    "Aurora has a fresh, enlightening perspective and the book provides an insightful, original lens on some of the biggest challenges schools face."

    Ed Vainker, CEO, Reach Foundation