Responding to Uncertainty Conference: Reducing Stress in Staff and Pupils


Human beings tend to dislike the idea of uncertainty. It is full of the unknown and the unpredictable, which easily makes us anxious. Ironically, excitement contains all the same qualities, but just the term ‘excitement’ creates a very different expectation. We have been living through a time of considerable uncertainty. That’s been one of the hardest aspects of the pandemic – coping with ‘not knowing’.

Why is uncertainty so challenging, and how can it be made easier?  What do we need to do to recover healthily from an extended period of uncertainty? These are the questions at the centre of this seminar with Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk.

She will explore the science of uncertainty, which has shown that the human brain frequently experiences uncertainty as a threat, thereby setting off an anxiety-stress response within the body. Leaders within school environments can use this single insight to help in shaping policies and practices that help staff and pupils to feel safe. The more predictable the school environment feels, the more quickly everyone will relax, resulting in teachers who feel less pressured and pupils who are better able to focus and to learn.

We hope you’ll share what you learn with others, because the year that we have all just spent coping with uncertainty will have taken its toll. We need to be sure we give attention to recovering from it, not just consigning it to history.



Training Objectives


  • Explore concepts of adapting during ever-changing circumstances
  • Understand a whole school approach towards uncertainty and staff and pupil stress 
  • Hear from expert keynote speaker Dr Suzanne Zeedyk