Principal’s Blog, Friday 30th November 2018, Making Hazeley a Truly Happy school

There was an interesting article in the Times Education Supplement last week written by William Stewart & John Roberts, the title was eye catching.

‘Stressed and undervalued’ – but (most) teachers still love the job.

It described the dominant message from a recent YouGov pol as being  “that the vast majority of teachers feel unloved and overworked – 84 per cent do not think their profession is valued by society, and nearly as many – 83 per cent – say they are “stressed”, with nearly a third (32 per cent) “very stressed”.  

And the situation appears to be getting worse. Nearly half (46 per cent) of teachers say their morale has declined in the past year; with more than a third (38 per cent) saying they have “low morale”.

The full article can be accessed on

I am thankful to say that the situation at Hazeley is very different, our staff surveys and discussions paint a contrasting picture. Leaders, governors, unions and staff have worked hard to reduce workload and create a culture of high expectations and support, a place where staff believe the differences between us make us stronger, where staff are encouraged to take calculated risks and that we understand that honest mistakes occur. It was a key point of praise in our recent OFSTED report and will remain a focus in our Academy and Trust improvement planning.

This makes a tremendous difference for the staff, but it also importantly has a dramatic impact on the students, being taught by a happy teacher is a very different experience to learning from someone who rarely finds a smile never mind a warm word. Happiness is contagious, Mr West high fiving the Y7’s as they go into lead lesson or Mr Healy warmly bellowing hello to students on the gate sets students up for the day, both of these things are very Hazeley.

Parents also have a dramatic impact to the climate in schools. We are blessed at Hazeley that the overwhelming majority of parents work really hard with staff. Providing feedback in a constructive way and showing a united front when times are difficult, these things make a wonderful difference.

Finally, if you want to play your part in making Hazeley a Truly Happy School then why not spend 5 minutes asking your child to list their favourite/best teachers/staff, make sure you push them to ask why they are on their list, then spend 5 minutes emailing the staff thanking them for their work. Genuine, heartfelt praise is a very powerful thing, especially at the end of a long winter’s day, from a caring parent. Small kindnesses of this nature go a long way.

Thank you for playing your part in making Hazeley a Truly Happy school

Mr Nelson