Health and wellbeing resources for headteachers and school staff

School health and wellbeing special newsletter

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Health and wellbeing resources for headteachers and school staff, including those working from home

Welcome to Devon County Council's second special health and wellbeing e-bulletin for school employees, designed to shine a light on the resources and options available to you while working through the pandemic. We encourage you to take some time out to think about and manage your own health and wellbeing.

Need support for your mental health at work? 

Able Futures – Access work mental health support to help you enjoy more good days. You’ll be supported by a qualified health care professional, and it's fast, flexible and, best of all, there is no charge to use this service. Find out more on Inside Devon.

There are some specific resources for headteachers and school staff that we would like to draw your attention to. In addition, if headteachers would like to access any specific further support please contact HR One on 01395 385555 or alternatively you can email:

aHead Service

Headship can be isolating and overwhelming, particularly during these challenging times. We wanted to remind you that the team of aHead Professional Partners are here to provide confidential support and guidance to school leaders and can be contacted via phone: 01392 380518 / 07970 905511  or email:       

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Additional to the aHead Service, Devon SLS is delighted to offer an Employee Assistance Programme to its membership of school leaders. This is a new introduction to the Devon SLS offer and is provided by Education Support.

The EAP provides members with free individual access to a confidential information, support and counselling service which is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day via a dedicated 0800 856148 telephone number. 

Read more: EAP Leaflet - Information, guidance and support for wellbeing

Schools leaders are also able to purchase an EAP scheme for their own schools at specially discounted rates. For more information on the EAP scheme please contact

Keeping active

Being active is great for your mental health and physical fitness

Active Devon’s online community for teachers and educators

Through Active Devon there is an Active Schools Framework to support schools and education with improving wellbeing through physical activity. Use the free consultation to receive further information and support.

Being more active in your workplace  

Excessive sitting impacts our body’s metabolic system, potentially leading to health problems. Evaluate how much you sit each day using this sitting calculator.

doing yoga at home

Gym-free exercises

If you've decided the gym is not your thing, there are many low-cost activities you can do on your own that can get you in shape.

Created with busy people in mind, these NHS routines can be done anywhere, at any time. Or try these:


Cycling tips and inspiration

Cycling inspiration from Active Devon, how to fix punctures and several local cycling maps!


Cycle to work scheme

A reminder about our Cycle to Work Scheme for those employed within DCC maintained schools.

The Government initiative allows you to have use of a brand new bike and accessories / safety equipment for your commute to work – all tax-free!

Read the procedure and rules guide.

Any questions about the scheme not answered in the FAQs, please contact Cyclescheme directly on: 0844 879 5101 or email


Rugby anyone?

There's a chance to take part in physical activity as a family, free of charge, as part of a national Rugby & Sport England initiative, using the Rugby Families Fund. There are two community rugby clubs in Devon running free activities, that are open for all to come along and have fun. 

Don't just ruc up and stand there! Find out more.

Stuck for ideas?

Sign up to Active Devon's Movement Matters newsletter, showcasing the latest news and reviews of all things physical activity and movement here in Devon.

Every Mind Matters take the quiz

Every Mind Matters

The NHS Every Mind Matters website has lots of advice to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing, including tips to help if you're worried about coronavirus (COVID-19)

You can also start your own online action plan called 'Your Mind Plan'.

Are you having trouble sleeping?

The sleep foundation says establishing a routine, seeing the light, staying active and relaxing are top factors


Recognising anxiety

Tight muscles? Headache? Skin irritation? Short breathing? Stomach aches? These could be signs you are anxious. 

This short animation from the Resilience Institute gives some practice tips for rapid recovery.

take notice

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

There are lots of things you can do to build your own resilience. These might include changing your mindset, viewing a situation differently, taking time to look after yourself, connecting with people or allowing yourself time to relax and reflect.


Mindfulness nature trail

Aquafolium is a social enterprise, setup by Devon County Council's Head of Scrutiny, Camilla de Bernhardt Lane. She and her husband Mark have been working with the Woodland Trust to design a mindfulness in nature trail at Fingle Woods.

A part of this project was the creation of a series of mindfulness videos to help you to reconnect with nature and improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

View the complete set of videos here.

Let’s have a moment of reflection: What is resilience?

We can't control what happens to us but we can choose how we respond. Resilience is the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs – to face adversity and adapt to challenges or change. 

Find out how your resilience is dependent on your personality and your individual characteristics, as well as the environment you are in

How resilient are you? 

Try this Resilience Test from Psychometric Tests.

Still interested to find out more, then try testing your resilience.

Resilience in the workplace

This simple short animation with music shows you that you can be the best version of yourself

For a more academic approach, try these useful resources about workplace resilience:

TED talk 1

TED talk: The three secrets of resilient people 

In this powerful and courageous talk, Dr Lucy Hone shares the three strategies that got her through an unimaginable tragedy - and offers a profound insight on human suffering.

TED talk 2

TED talk: Add 7.5 minutes to your life now

TED talk: The game that gives you an extra 10 years of life: SuperBetter. In this moving talk, Jane McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience - and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.