Toxic Schools: how to avoid them and how to leave them

More Views

Toxic Schools: how to avoid them and how to leave them

In stock

Be the first to review this product



Helen Woodley's critically-important action research is an investigation into the effect of working on a toxic schools on teacher mental health and wellbeing. Five teachers share their experiences of working in toxic schools across a variety of settings.


Helen Woodley's critically-important action research is an investigation into the effect of working on a toxic schools on teacher mental health and wellbeing. Five teachers share their experiences of working in toxic schools across a variety of settings.

Strategies for coping in such schools are shared including a wider look at how school culture can be developed to better support staff.

About the authors

Helen Woodley has been writing for Teacher Toolkit since February 2017. She is currently a teacher, soon to be an ITE Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University, having previously trained in primary education working in a variety of schools in England. She has worked in a wide variety of special school settings, including all age schools.

Ross Morrison McGill is @TeacherToolkit, the ‘most followed educator on Twitter in the UK’ and founder of one of the most popular education websites in the U.K. He is an award-winning blogger, author and teacher who has worked in some of the most challenging schools in London over the past three decades.


This book is a welcome and timely addition to the burgeoning literature of school staff wellbeing. At its heart is a collection of authentic teacher stories, viewed through the lens of Dr Woodley's analysis of toxic schools. The marriage of academic rigour with practical advice, built upon research, makes this book an important contribution to the wider wellbeing debate.

This is an extremely important and timely read for anyone in education wishing to better understand the characteristics and consequences of toxic school cultures. By shining a light on poor practice through the use of narratvies, this book also raises questions about how school leaders can look after their teachers and hopefully prevent so many from leaving the profession. --Daryn Egan-Simon, teacher trainer, PhD researcher and co-founder of BrewEd

Toxic Schools reminds us of the importance and value of listening to each individual teacher's voice. It's a thought-provoking body of work and a must-read for all us senior leaders who should constantly be striving to explore meaningful school self evaluation. Are we really who we think we are? Toxic Schools reminds us all of the importance of how SLT communicate, our influence in other individuals and the powerful effect that our words may have. --Andria Zafirakou, Global Teacher Prize Winner 2018

‘Toxic Schools’ shines a powerful light on an issue that should concern everyone in education. Through a series of startlingly vivid portraits of life working in toxic schools, this book brings into sharp focus the critical importance of valuing and celebrating the right leadership behaviours. This is a thought-provoking read about the importance of people and relationships. We cannot truly consider ourselves a high functioning profession if we treat staff working in schools as renewable resources to be used and replaced. ‘Toxic Schools’ will be a mirror against which teachers and leaders alike can reflect on their own experiences, whilst providing useful and pragmatic suggestions to help take control in toxic environments. -- Nick Brook, NAHT 


In the current educational climate, in which the teacher crisis, far from alleviating, is getting even worse, this book is not just important but essential reading for policy makers and school leaders. Many of the stories are truly horrific and to read of teachers being mistrusted and undermined and broken down. However it’s important to note that the book is written from a place of love and loyalty and the fierce, righteous and justified rage at those who make ‘what can already feel like a challenging job into one which can feel like a Herculean task’. Helen’s background as an academic researcher gives the book real clout and credibility. A really important contribution to the field of knowledge. -- Dr Emma Kell

Additional Information

Author Helen Woodley with Ross Morrison McGill
ISBN 9781911382980
No of pages 162
Format Paperback
Publication Date 25 Oct 2018

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.


Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Toxic Schools: how to avoid them and how to leave them

How do you rate this product? *

  1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars