Hannah Lester


Hannah is able to lead training and offer support regarding staff wellbeing and managing workload effectively.

I trained as an Art and Design Teacher in 2013 and undertook my NQT year in an SEMH unit before moving to a comprehensive school in my second year of teaching. Following this move I also started teaching English, and since then I haven’t looked back. I have been teaching English at KS3 and KS4 for the last 8 years, and at Thomas Adams since 2019. As a member of a core department, I have been acutely aware of the stressors such as marking and admin on teachers’ workload and have been privy to increase in workload over the last ten years alone.

I have always been passionate about Mental Health, training as a Mental Health First Aider over the lockdown period. I have been working within the Pastoral Team since 2020 which has allowed me to learn lots about Mental Health and wellbeing with young people – a lot of which is transferable to adults. In July 2021 I designed a workload centred CPD session for my school that encompassed a variety of strategies and techniques for staff to implement to help reduce workload – this was done ahead of the start of my NPQSL.

Following this, I provided feedback for my school on staff wellbeing as part of the work party with this focus, as staff governor and within my role of Head of Year. This year, I have delivered a whole school CPD on mental health and wellbeing on the first PD Day; as well as a general well-being session at the Trust Conference.  In the future, I will be looking at how to ensure that leaders are being staff centred in their approaches to ensure staff can be student centred in their work.

I am working smarter, not harder and am trying to change the way schools and teachers think about workload, with accessible research and practical strategies and most importantly, time to implement them.