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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People profiles: Terry Austin

Head of Wellbeing, Wood Green School

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 2
Austin: ‘Early interventions in wellbeing can be key’
Austin: ‘Early interventions in wellbeing can be key’
Schools are under pressure to meet academic targets. There’s a lack of time, resources and funding to give wellbeing the attention it deserves

In 2015, Nuffield Health launched a pilot whereby it placed a head of wellbeing into Wood Green School in Witney, England. What has been achieved in the first year?
The first year has been dedicated to raising awareness and establishing my role and position with students and staff. I have to link the role in with the structure of the timetable and curriculum. There isn’t an allocated wellbeing lesson, so it’s important to integrate with other departments instead of working independently.

What interactions take place with the students?
We use tutorial time and assembly time, as well as isolated wellbeing days for entire year groups. In this time, we focus on nutrition, resilience, mental health and emotional wellbeing among other topics.

How have you, personally, found the experience?
The experience has been great so far. I’ve been at Nuffield Health for 18 years, working in gyms and medical centres. In those situations, you’re dealing with adults who are fully developed physically and mentally, capable of abstract thinking, not as susceptible to peer pressure and more engaged in behaviour change.

Approaching a school of teenagers is a very different experience. You must be flexible with your tactics and strategy.

What’s the key difference when addressing this younger audience?
It’s more about addressing the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’, focusing on the reasons behind their choices and being aware of peer pressures and so on – a lot of their choices are related to image. It’s about asking them not what’s right and wrong, but what sort of person they want to be.

What have you learnt about school wellbeing?
Schools are under pressure to meet academic targets and Ofsted ratings, and there’s a lack of time, resources and funding available to really give wellbeing the attention it deserves and needs.

There are also many variables that can influence behaviour, such as peer pressure, parents and social media. Younger people today face more challenges to their mental and physical health than ever before. Early interventions are imperative to ensure that negative trends don’t continue into their adult lives.

What obstacles have you faced?
Implementing interventions around the school timetable and curriculum can be challenging. The school’s infrastructure is complex and schools are busy places. When considering an intervention, it’s crucial to plan ahead, work around the timetable and appreciate the busyness of staff and their other commitments and priorities.

How have you engaged the school workforce?
It’s important to respect boundaries and other people’s expertise. People sometimes fear change and can be protective of their habits and practices, especially in a school community.

We gave all staff the opportunity to have a personalised lifestyle health assessment to develop their own wellbeing action plan, and this has helped to build relationships.

How could other head teachers start talking about wellbeing?
Every school will have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s crucial to conduct an analysis, establishing what they do well and what needs more attention, as well as gathering evidence to allow any change to be measured.

A framework for a ‘wellbeing audit’ would be helpful for all schools. A committee would also need to be set up, with someone leading the wellbeing focus. For an initiative to succeed, the whole school community must be on-board.

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Wellbeing days at Wood Green focus on topics like nutrition and mental health
Wellbeing days at Wood Green focus on topics like nutrition and mental health
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/102203_412740.jpg
Nuffield’s in-school head of wellbeing, Terry Austin, on teaching children strategies for physical and mental wellbeing
Terry Austin, Head of Wellbeing, Wood Green School,Terry Austin, Head of Wellbeing, Wood Green School
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features

People profiles: Terry Austin

Head of Wellbeing, Wood Green School

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 2
Austin: ‘Early interventions in wellbeing can be key’
Austin: ‘Early interventions in wellbeing can be key’
Schools are under pressure to meet academic targets. There’s a lack of time, resources and funding to give wellbeing the attention it deserves

In 2015, Nuffield Health launched a pilot whereby it placed a head of wellbeing into Wood Green School in Witney, England. What has been achieved in the first year?
The first year has been dedicated to raising awareness and establishing my role and position with students and staff. I have to link the role in with the structure of the timetable and curriculum. There isn’t an allocated wellbeing lesson, so it’s important to integrate with other departments instead of working independently.

What interactions take place with the students?
We use tutorial time and assembly time, as well as isolated wellbeing days for entire year groups. In this time, we focus on nutrition, resilience, mental health and emotional wellbeing among other topics.

How have you, personally, found the experience?
The experience has been great so far. I’ve been at Nuffield Health for 18 years, working in gyms and medical centres. In those situations, you’re dealing with adults who are fully developed physically and mentally, capable of abstract thinking, not as susceptible to peer pressure and more engaged in behaviour change.

Approaching a school of teenagers is a very different experience. You must be flexible with your tactics and strategy.

What’s the key difference when addressing this younger audience?
It’s more about addressing the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’, focusing on the reasons behind their choices and being aware of peer pressures and so on – a lot of their choices are related to image. It’s about asking them not what’s right and wrong, but what sort of person they want to be.

What have you learnt about school wellbeing?
Schools are under pressure to meet academic targets and Ofsted ratings, and there’s a lack of time, resources and funding available to really give wellbeing the attention it deserves and needs.

There are also many variables that can influence behaviour, such as peer pressure, parents and social media. Younger people today face more challenges to their mental and physical health than ever before. Early interventions are imperative to ensure that negative trends don’t continue into their adult lives.

What obstacles have you faced?
Implementing interventions around the school timetable and curriculum can be challenging. The school’s infrastructure is complex and schools are busy places. When considering an intervention, it’s crucial to plan ahead, work around the timetable and appreciate the busyness of staff and their other commitments and priorities.

How have you engaged the school workforce?
It’s important to respect boundaries and other people’s expertise. People sometimes fear change and can be protective of their habits and practices, especially in a school community.

We gave all staff the opportunity to have a personalised lifestyle health assessment to develop their own wellbeing action plan, and this has helped to build relationships.

How could other head teachers start talking about wellbeing?
Every school will have different strengths and weaknesses. It’s crucial to conduct an analysis, establishing what they do well and what needs more attention, as well as gathering evidence to allow any change to be measured.

A framework for a ‘wellbeing audit’ would be helpful for all schools. A committee would also need to be set up, with someone leading the wellbeing focus. For an initiative to succeed, the whole school community must be on-board.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Wellbeing days at Wood Green focus on topics like nutrition and mental health
Wellbeing days at Wood Green focus on topics like nutrition and mental health
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/102203_412740.jpg
Nuffield’s in-school head of wellbeing, Terry Austin, on teaching children strategies for physical and mental wellbeing
Terry Austin, Head of Wellbeing, Wood Green School,Terry Austin, Head of Wellbeing, Wood Green School
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People should concentrate on exercise and staying fit – rather than dieting and weight loss ...
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Sibec Europe, scheduled to take place in Cologne, Germany, from 2 to 5 November 2021, ...
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Swim England has warned that 2,000 swimming pools could be lost forever unless the government ...
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Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has joined gym-goers this morning to kick-off the annual National Fitness ...
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Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers that provides powerful tools to schedule activities, manage member payments, and monitor heart rate both for remote and on-site classes.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Will your business last without digital transformation?
During the pandemic, a digital transformation took off faster than anyone could have predicted with meetings in person cancelled and millions working from home.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Mystery Shopping
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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Service Sport: Uniforms
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Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
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Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
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Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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