We help school leaders manage stress, anxiety and daily school pressures, with practical, research-driven training
We've developed a unique programme called "Heart Health for Headteachers." It is designed to help you understand the impact of stress on you, personally as a school leader, and to provide you with proven and scientifically validated tools and strategies that make measurable improvements to your health and wellbeing. Developed by Health and Wellbeing specialists, Dr. Carla Stanton and Maria Brosnan, the results with Headteachers so far have been extraordinary. “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s completely changed me as a professional.“James Newman, Headteacher, EPSOM AND EWELL HIGH SCHOOL
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"Heart Health for Headteachers" is a short programme of four sessions incorporating three core components: coaching, the use of biofeedback technology and education/training. Sessions can be for individuals or small groups of between 3 and 8 participants.
The unprecedented demands of the last few years have greatly increased Headteachers’ stress levels, and evidence shows that “gritting through” challenge and not addressing the impact it is having, ultimately impedes performance, wastes time and resources, and can dangerously impact health. While heads may know that stress negatively impacts their health, many don’t have the evidence-based tools to address this effectively.
By the end of the four sessions, participants will be able to:
✓ Measurably improve their Heart Rate Variability; a key marker of heart health;
✓ Reduce anxiety, panic, stress or feelings of overwhelm the moment it occurs;
✓ Reduce the impact of stress before, during, and after a difficult conversation or challenging situation;
✓ Improve their ability to problem-solve and communicate effectively in the face of challenge or crisis;
✓ Improve the quality of their sleep, and more, through the application of scientifically validated
self-regulation techniques, supported by biofeedback technology.
Please get in touch to hear more about this unique and effective way to measurably reduce stress in your life.
“The Heart Health programme really does make a tangible difference to how I am able to deal with the many challenges I face on a daily basis.”
Matt O'Grady, Headteacher
WEST HORNDON PRIMARY SCHOOL
HeadteacherChat’s Review of: Heart Health for Headteachers (Pursuit Wellbeing)
Read the full review below...
How does Pursuit Wellbeing describe their product?
Heart Health for Headteachers is a short programme of four sessions that teaches you scientifically-validated techniques to reduce the impact of stress in your life and measurably improve the health of your Heart. It incorporates three core components: coaching, the use of biofeedback technology (a sensor worn for a few minutes each day during the programme) and education/training. Sessions can be for individuals or small groups of between 4 and 8 participants. Using simple technology, we teach you how to measure your current stress levels, and reduce them in real-time.
What does it enable you to do?
“I don’t go home broken any more”.
(Headteacher after completing the Heart Health for Headteachers training).
The quote reflects how the demands of headship can seem overwhelming and cause a multitude of negative physical symptoms. However, it also shows the impact of Heart Health for Headteachers as it trains you to be more aware, and consequently self-regulating, in times of increased stress.
Although training can be 1to1, Maria Brosnan (co-creator of the programme) describes how many headteachers benefit from completing the training in a small group of 4-8 participants by hearing that they are not alone in feeling overwhelmed with the role. The four sessions are delivered either face to face or online, depending on location.
The first element of the training involves understanding definitions of ‘well-being’ and ‘stress’ as well as learning practical and effective techniques for reducing stress. Delegates also examine cycles of stress within the academic year and how to manage these, before learning how to use the biofeedback technology (Inner Balance sensor and app - see below).
Inner Balance sensor and app
The sensor clips onto an earlobe and is worn for just 5-10 minutes a day throughout the training, tracking heart rhythms. Below is a snapshot of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of a participant’s short daily use of the biofeedback sensor. It shows the positive changes in two key markers of Heart Health: Cardiac Coherence and Heart Rate Variability – rhythms are far more regular and the extremes of the peaks and troughs are reduced.
Before intervention –
After intervention – September 2021
Throughout the other sessions, there is an emphasis on understanding the critical role of the heart in response to stress, how the heart is strongly affected by stress and the physical impact it has. The practical techniques show headteachers how to quickly regulate out of stress and back to a position of balance. As well as being better for the physical health of our heart, it creates greater mental clarity and, therefore, enables more effective communication – particularly useful for school leaders in moments of stress or in difficult, potentially confrontational situations. This improves not just our work, but relationships and life outside of work as well as helping to create a clear strategy of support practices going forward.
Individual Coaching - 4 x 60-minute 1:1 sessions & course material £1338 per person
Small Group Coaching (4-8 participants) - 4 x 90-minute group sessions & course materials £838 per person
*Both prices include the Inner Balance sensor and app.
Benefits of using Heart Health for Headteachers?
By the end of the four sessions, participants will be able to:
✓ Measurably improve their Heart Rate Variability; a key marker of heart health.
✓ Reduce anxiety, panic, stress or feelings of overwhelm the moment they occur.
✓ Reduce the impact of stress before, during, and after a difficult conversation or challenging situation.
✓ Improve their ability to problem-solve and communicate effectively in the face of challenge or crisis.
✓ Improve the quality of their sleep, and more, through the application of scientifically validated self-regulation techniques, supported by biofeedback technology.
‘I didn’t expect for it to have such a big impact…I didn’t think it would completely change my life….it definitely has. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s completely changed me as a professional.”
HEADTEACHER, EPSOM AND EWELL HIGH SCHOOL
“I’m not going to lie, I was reluctant to be signed up for this programme. For context, I’m a Primary Headteacher with reason to be concerned about heart health and I wasn’t keen to know the worst about my heart.
That, however, is not what the programme has been all about.
I have come away with a greater understanding of the impact of my heart health and my emotional state; a greater capacity to redress the balance when things are stressful and a new found willingness to share with my colleagues. It’s been enlightening – and I find myself to be largely ‘coherent’.”
Dominic Mulholland, Headteacher
MILDMAY JUNIOR SCHOOL
“I found the sessions to be highly effective and uncovering the science behind emotional responses really helped deal with stressful situations. This is not what you would expect from a well-being session, and I would highly recommend them.
I am continuing to apply what I have learnt on a daily basis.”
ONGAR PRIMARY SCHOOL
Links to videos
Our website Headteacher Wellbeing page (and 2 video testimonials further down the page)::
In summary, HeadteacherChat recommends Health Heart for Headteachers because:
‘This is a really clever way to show how you respond to stress, and what to do about it. Stress is something that can be reduced with techniques and strategies, and Pursuit Well-Being’s Heart Health programme will help you to identify key stresses and learn how to deal with them in a positive and constructive way.’
Lucy Coy, CEO, HeadteacherChat, December 2022