Staff wellbeing and workload
Wellbeing is all about our holistic health, including the physical and emotional. When we have good levels of wellbeing we feel that life is in balance and that we can generally cope well. We feel motivated and engaged, we’re resilient and able to deal effectively with daily troubles, as well as ’bounce back’ from life’s challenges.
Good staff wellbeing is essential for cultivating a mentally healthy school, for retaining and motivating staff and for promoting student wellbeing and attainment.
As Windmill Hill School staff juggle a multitude of different tasks and demands, it is important that everyone is given the right emotional and practical support so that they can, in turn, support their students.
In addition to having a positive impact on colleagues and children, staff wellbeing can improve performance and job satisfaction, which can lead to reduced staff turnover. It can also help to reduce absence (both short and long term), increase productivity and promote staff engagement.
Please see below the range of wellbeing opportunities, we take part in.
Windmill Hill School is committed to considering and supporting the wellbeing of all our staff. As part of this commitment, and through a coordinated effort with school staff and leaders, we aim to ensure workload can be managed and reduced.
We recognise that staff workload can become overwhelming, which in turn affects staff wellbeing and prevents a healthy work-life balance. We believe that we have a collective responsibility to ensure working at the school remains manageable, a positive experience, and, above all, enjoyable.
By providing this support, we hope that we can retain and recruit more staff and meet our core values and ethos for helping and caring for one another.
To protect staff wellbeing, we are designing a Fair Workload Charter.
Windmill Hill School’s ‘Fair Workload Charter’ sets out what staff can expect as part of their role within the school.
Intentions of the charter:
- Provide a supportive workplace culture
- Ensure they have a fair and reasonable workload
- Ensure clear and consistent information sharing
- Provide high quality training and professional development opportunities that meet the needs of individual members of staff
Designing a Fair Workload Charter is helping us to agree what each of these intentions can look like in practice and therefore enables the governing body, SLT and school staff, to demonstrate our support in helping to manage staff workload.
Providing a supportive workplace culture, which will be ensured by:
- Leaders are committed to addressing workload and supporting staff wellbeing
- Leaders having an ‘open door’ policy
- Staff having clear roles and responsibilities
- Leaders support staff in their roles – this includes offering guidance, support and training in developing knowledge and skills relevant to their role i.e. safeguarding duties
- Access to wellbeing facilities and breaks
- Promoting all members of the school community to show genuine appreciation towards others, using praise and thank yous!
- Offering wellbeing guidance and signposting health and wellbeing services
- The appraisal of all staff to include a review of workload with a supporting action in order to ensure employers exercise their duty of care to employees with regard to workload, including Senior Leaders
- Leaders encouraging a good work-life balance
Fair and reasonable workload which will be ensured by:
- Publishing and adhering to termly calendar where possible
- Maximising meeting time
- Clear communication of policies and procedures – where possible, briefing notes will be provided to support efficiency of information sharing
- For staff other than teachers, the requirements of policies should be reasonably deliverable within contracted hours
Clear and consistent information sharing which will be ensured by:
- Staff wellbeing and workload to be an analysed continuously.
- Using open channels of two-way communication to keep all staff informed
- Ensuring staff are fully informed of all relevant School activity, to enable them to be as effective as possible in their role
- Providing easy access to essential, useful and engaging information for staff
- Promoting all staff to be aware of their responsibility for maintaining good communication practice
- Email communication being focused on positive, effective communication and wherever possible, to be solution focused
- Gaining views, feedback and input from staff to support the school to plan and prioritise improvements
- A guarantee from SLT that any major changes will be planned on an annual basis and shared with staff via the School Development Plan
High quality training and professional development opportunities that meet the needs of individual members of staff by:
- Enabling staff to access Windmill Hill induction and training programmes
- Enabling staff to access ongoing training programmes linked to essential elements of the Schools statutory and professional practice
- Providing peer support and coaching
- Ensuring staff are well-trained and appropriately qualified
In addition to the above, teaching staff at the school can expect:
- To work within a clear code of conduct
- A consistent and fair relationship policy which allows staff to work effectively and be provided with support from the SLT to manage behaviour effectively
- An agreed communication protocol which outlines the expected response times from colleagues and external communications, e.g. from parents
- The use of technology to ensure effective and efficient communication, document and data management, and access to information
- To be provided with access to external support, such as an occupational health
Current Staff Wellbeing Opportunities
At Windmill Hill School we have a caring ethos and the Senior Leadership Team build a culture of trust where school staff feel valued, can be open about their health and wellbeing and know how to access support if they need it.
Together as a school team we are exploring setting up the following wellbeing opportunities:
- Staff Choir
- Staff Gold Awards
- Wellbeing workshops
- Various events out of school, with families (e.g. theatre, circus)
- Cinema days (for students and staff)
- Many others opportunities
Windmill Hill School is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of staff. Preventing stress is a major factor in maintaining the staff wellbeing.
We do this by providing a supportive workplace culture, ensuring a fair and reasonable workload, ensuring clear and consistent information sharing and providing high quality training and professional development.
Windmill Hill School has a fantastic staff room and a display with plenty of information on concern for wellbeing.
Windmill Hill School wellbeing champions 2021