I had such an awesome day in London last Friday attending the Next Steps For Wellbeing in Education Conference with The International Positive Education Network (IPEN).
There was an array of influential guest speakers and Sir Anthony Seldon – University of Buckingham was our chair for the day.
The list of speakers included:
- Nicky Morgan MP
- Professor Katherine Weare, Southampton University
- Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, CEO of The Flourishing Centre
- Lord Gus O’Donnell, former cabinet secretary
- Ambassadors from #iwill and Place2Be charities
- Tariq Mana Saeed Al Otaiba, senior associate, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court
- Professor Russell Foster, Circadian Neuroscience
- Ruby Wax, author, performer and mental health campaigner
- The Amy Winehouse Foundation
The message that came across from all the parties was the need to promote the teaching of character, resilience and well-being throughout our education system.
The ambassadors from #iwill and The Amy Winehouse Foundation were amazing and their performances were stunning. It just goes to show how doing something different and helping others can significantly improve the mental health of young people.
Young people need to be equipped with knowledge and life skills so that they can flourish in life. The purpose of IPEN is to:
- Reform policy
- Change educational practices
- Support collaboration
There were also exhibitor stands with different offerings to assist education establishments to prepare the young people of today for tomorrow’s world. I purchased some strength cards from ‘At My Best’ and look forward to using these with my coaching students this week.
The head of year 8 from one of my coaching schools also came with me and it was interesting to see her reaction and opinions regarding the speakers. She had never been to anything like it before and took lots of useful information away with her to share with colleagues back at school.
The day was finished off with a very entertaining talk from Ruby Wax. Through the art of comedy she highlighted the importance of raising mental health awareness and how we can assist young people in getting the help and support they need. Amazing how we learn so much more when things are fun.
What I learnt from the conference is that schools need to be:
- Both proactive and reactive
- Connected with their students
- Working on prevention rather than cure
- Attentive to the well being of their staff not just the students
- Developing a whole school approach including teaching staff, students, parents and governors
I have taken so much valuable information away from last Friday and my aim is to share this with my students. There is nothing better than seeing them happy, resilient and flourishing in life.
If you know of a young person who is struggling in life and would benefit from life coaching then please contact me.