Leading The School of Joy

You are a Leader

Every person working in any provision for children and young people with SEND should see themselves as both a champion for their young people and a changemaker. The only thing a leader needs to be a leader is followers. If you have the passion to shape change where you work or volunteer you can be the leader of this project.

To lead the school of joy you need to do two things.

  1. To live the ethos of the School of Joy approach

  2. To share what you are doing and why

Creating change is a long-term project and not this simple, it can be a frustrating journey but a worthwhile one. You may not feel you have the power or skills required to lead. Imposter syndrome is real but I guarantee you have more power than you think. Hopefully, you do not work somewhere where this approach would be totally against the current ethos. I have been to many schools, nurseries, and other provisions where many of our 7 factors are already in place. Sometimes the policies just need a tweak, sometimes it is the application of current policies that just needs applying. It can be the case that the provision's current mission statement or values align with the School of Joy approach but the practice has slipped or been diluted by other day-to-day worries.

Some of you may already be in an official leadership role, others may aspire to this, still more of you will be leaders and not realise it. The nature of organisations especially schools means that we often have to justify new initiatives. So why should you implement the School of Joy approach in yours?

  1. Happier children learn better

  2. Happier children have a better quality of life

  3. Children with a higher quality of life display fewer behaviours that impact themselves and others*

  4. Stress in the class is reduced

  5. Staff, child, and family wellbeing increases

  6. Staff retention increases

  7. Increased focus on learning = better outcomes

Sharing The Message: Staff Training

Sharing your message and vision is essential. You will find here a suggested presentation and handouts that you can download and adapt for your setting. It is your passion that will decide whether this training has any impact. Live it.


Our presentation slides are designed to be the background and prompt for training, not a handout. Download a handout here.

Books To Read

The School of Joy collates and utilises ideas from a number of books and publications that you may want to read yourselves or buy for your staff library.

Creating The School of Joy - Staff Training