Staff wellbeing and workload management is clearly a school leadership priority and this has been recognised with the recently published DfE tips and case studies ‘Ways to reduce your workload’ with associated slides and diagnostic tools. If you haven’t seen them, the link is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reducing-workload-in-your-school It is encouraging that the DfE is recognising the importance of this critical issue and there are some good materials for schools to use.
Here at the PMB we are delighted to join up with the Teachwell Alliance founded by Steve Waters, whose primary focus is supporting schools to avoid Teacher burnout. Steve has developed an excellent toolkit of practical support for schools. Through this partnership we have also gained access to a large number of other excellent resources including a report, Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools by Professor Peter Fonagy, CEO at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
We provide a brief summary here of these two excellent resources:
Supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools
“The new focus on children’s mental health, though serves as an important reminder to us that we must couple support for school staﬀ with the ambitions we have for children’s wellbeing. If we don’t we will be letting down all school staﬀ.” – Professor Fonagy
This excellent [and short!] resource booklet generally comprises four sections. The first starts with a useful definition and then a neat checklist of some practical ideas of support in three areas: Specialist, Targetted and Universal.
The second section sets out some real school case studies with the best one being from Lessness Heath Primary School. This school set up a team of stakeholders to develop and drive a vision and strategy for positive mental health and wellbeing across the school. This includes:
- a team of Wellbeing Ambassadors across the school
- a wellbeing menu for staff with social prescription
- staff rewards and celebration on a half-termly basis
- regular supervision
This is complemented with advice on 5 top tips for leading a school that priorities wellbeing and the final section concludes with links to further great resources.
Highly recommended and available here:
Retention, Recruitment and Teacher Burnout: Why tackling Teacher Burnout is the only solution to the education crisis
In a different approach Steve Waters, Founder and Director of the Teach Well Alliance focuses on the more specific area of teacher burnout.
Steve is a former secondary school Assistant Head and English teacher. Here he offers some useful information and ideas on the issue including a questionnaire using Christine Maslach’s 6 Causes of Burnout. Work overload is clearly one of the causal factors but there are others which Steve explores through this excellent diagnostic questionnaire and the 3 level supporting consultancy programme he offers. Understandably Steve is most concerned with the impact that the whole issue of teacher burnout is having on the recruitment and retention of the quality workforce required to deliver a quality educational system.
If you want to find out more about the work of the Teach Well Alliance, including the consultancy programme on offer then email Steve at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The report can be downloaded free here:
And of course, if you would like any help with related issues around stress management, workload and wellbeing then please do contact us at: email@example.com