Ten steps towards good school staff wellbeing

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Staff wellbeing – the ISA are offering wellbeing awards to schools with innovative school practices for increasing wellbeing. But how innovative are you prepared to be? Our culture is a greedy one – and schools and parents want it all, with staff often paying the price. Addressing staff wellbeing may appear to be costly but taking good care of your best asset – teachers, may be your most rewarding investment.

Measures to reduce workload could involve: 

1.Setting a limit on hours spent working outside of the school day. If staff are always involved in weekend fixtures, ensure they have a half day off mid-week to compensate.

2.Review marking policies and establish peer marking schemes where possible. Some subjects are much more popular with much larger class sizes – ensure staff in this position get adequate and equitable planning and preparation time.

3.Reducing or even banning homework (on certain days) – Finland have modelled this approach well.

4.Establish a healthy and sensible approach, that is modelled by senior staff on email protocols and set cut-offs, for example no work emails between 7pm and 7am.

5.Consider introducing a 4-day week for the over 40’s, a 3-day week for the over 50’s – It could help you to keep your staff for longer, which will support a stable school culture and a more emotionally secure environment – essential for happy boarders. They may be happy to work extra hours when cover is required.

6.ban lunch time meetings and ensure staff get a full hour off.

7.Insure staff have adequate planning and preparation time each day factored into the time table and don’t use this time for cover.

8.Have proper contingency plans for cover – if you are doing all off the above you might find your need for cover is reduced. If you have staff on part-time contracts, they may consider extra hours for extra pay.

9.Make staff exercise, yoga, mindfulness and meditation part of staff timetables.

10.Facilitate well-behaved staff pets as part of the school environment.T

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