A study by the University of London "Staff wellbeing is key to school success: A research study into the links between staff wellbeing and school performance" (University of London/ Worklife Support Ltd, 2007) concluded that
"if we want to improve school performance, we also need to start paying attention to teacher wellbeing. How teachers feel on an everyday basis is likely to affect their performance and so, in turn, the performance of the pupils they teach. This may happen in several ways. For example, happier, motivated teachers may make pupils feel happier, motivated and more confident. Happier teachers may also be able to concentrate better on the job of teaching, and experience more motivation to help pupils in need of special attention.
At the same time, because this study cannot clearly establish cause and effect, it may also be the case that improving school performance has positive impacts on teacher wellbeing.
What seems most likely that there is a two-way relationship between teacher wellbeing and pupil performance. Just as increases in teacher wellbeing can lead to improvements in the performance of pupils, so increases in pupil performance may lead to increased wellbeing in teachers. If so, both virtuous circles and downward spirals are possible. In the former, improvements in teacher wellbeing may lead to improved pupil performance, which in turn leads to improved teacher wellbeing, and so on. In the latter, a reduction in teacher wellbeing at a school might lead to poorer pupil results, leading to a further drop in teacher wellbeing, and so on."
Supporting staff wellbeing in schools booklet (Anna Freud, 2018)
Ten steps towards school staff wellbeing (Anna Freud, 2018)
Education Support Partnership - Information for teachers on managing stress + Free confidential 24-hour helpline for all education staff 08000 562 561
Empower Half Hour - Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has put together a range of themed, simple, and mostly cost-free activities for work place teams to implement in half an hour
Ideas used in Wiltshire schools to improve staff wellbeing (click to enlarge and read)
Free mental health training in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire.
The Connect 5 Programme is an accessible, evidenced based training that is relevant to the whole of the public facing workforce. It provides participants with skills and competencies that build confidence in having conversations about mental health and wellbeing. It presents tools to empower others to take proactive steps to build resilience and look after themselves. Connect 5 takes the position that we don’t need to be mental health specialists to support those who are experiencing emotional and mental health problems.
Staff wellbeing at school - survey and guidance
Wiltshire schools can use this survey and guidance to enhance their wellbeing provision.
Use of these tools can be included as evidence for Wiltshire Healthy Schools criteria around improving staff wellbeing.
The survey and guidance was developed and trialled by B&NES Council and local schools, working with the Diocese of Bath & Wells, Bath and NE Somerset NEU, NAHT and NASUWT.
How to use these documents
- Introduce the survey, perhaps at a meeting or training day
- Invite all members of school staff (not just teaching staff) to anonymously complete the survey, either immediately or later in their own time
- Collect in the completed surveys and analyse the results, perhaps RAG rating the responses
- Form a group of volunteers, to respond to the survey within a specific time period e.g. 6/12 or 18 months
- Report first on what the school is doing well and then on identified areas for development
- Use the guidance document for ideas to implement
- After implementing actions, resurvey staff and assess progress