TCELT research seminar - October 2023

Wednesday 4 October 2023

Supporting the wellbeing of the school community in the recovery phase of Covid-19: Challenges and opportunities for aspiring Headteachers examined through the lens of MMT theory.

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Wednesday 4 October 2023, 12:00 - 13:00
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It is now well established that the pandemic and associated privations had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people [1-4]. Within this context, the role that senior leaders play in schools in supporting their school communities is crucially important and this formed the focus of a small-scale study drawing on the perspectives of current and former students on the Into Headship programme at the University of Strathclyde. The study was conducted in two phases – the initial phase, a survey issued to three cohorts of students; the second phase, interviews and focus group discussions with eight former students, three secondary, three primary and two from the special education sector. Analysis in ongoing and this presentation will focus on the accounts of the three secondary participants in interview. It will focus on the challenges they experienced, the approaches adopted and the impact on their own leadership and sense of identity as aspiring headteachers. At a time of significant turbulence, how these aspiring headteachers negotiated the transitions (both personal and work-related) associated with the pandemic in supporting their school communities will have had a significant impact upon how the pandemic (and associated transitions) was experienced by the wider school community. The presentation will therefore examine this issue through the lens of Multiple and Multi-dimensional Transitions (MMT) Theory [5].  

Dr. Joan Mowat is a Senior Lecturer in the Strathclyde Institute of Education. Her key research interests are inclusion (with a particular focus on social, emotional and behavioural needs), social justice, the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, transitions and educational leadership. Her most recent research has focussed on the poverty-related attainment gap, the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of children, and the challenges faced by aspiring headteachers in supporting their school communities during lockdown and in the recovery period, in particular, more vulnerable families. 

Dr. Anna Beck is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social & Environmental Sustainability at the University of Glasgow, Dumfries Campus. Her key research interests are teacher professionalism and policy. 


Ding, N.; Skripkauskaite, S.; Waite, P.; Creswell, C., (Eds.) Changes in children’s mental health and parents’ financial stress from March 2020 to October 2022 (Report 13). Co-Space Study.; University of Oxford: Oxford, England, 2023.

UNICEF. UNICEF Data: Covid-19 and children. 2023.

Cattan, S.; Farquharson, C.; Krutikova, S.; McKendrick, A.; Sevilla, A. Parental labour market instability and children's mental health during the pandemic. 23/21. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies; 2023.

Mowat, J.G. Establishing the medium to long-term impact of Covid-19 constraints on the socio-emotional wellbeing of impoverished children and young people (and those who are otherwise disadvantaged) during, and in the aftermath of, Covid-19. In Education in an Altered World - Pandemic, Crises and Young People Vulnerable to Educational Exclusion, Proyer, M., Dovigo, F., Veck, W., Seitinger, E.A., Eds.; Bloomsbury: London, England, 2023; pp. 96-111.

Mowat, J.G.; Beck, A. Rising to the Challenge of Creating Equitable, Inclusive, and Compassionate School Communities in the Recovery Phase of the Pandemic: The Role of Aspiring Headteachers. Education Sciences 2023, 13, 524.

Event type Online event
Event category Research