children playing outside in a garden.  They are sat around a log.  One student looks on and three others huddle together in an activity

Wellbeing & Workload

Recruiting & retaining great staff

Our staff's wellbeing and workload matters.

In 2021 we were involved in developing the DfE's Education Staff Wellbeing Charter. At the heart of the Charter is a declaration of support and separate commitment to the wellbeing and mental health of everyone working in education.

Our approach

As a Trust we have created a supportive culture around flexible working. We believe that for some staff working flexibly can be a key means of protecting and enhancing their personal wellbeing.

We are a DfE Ambassador and have been active in leading the national campaign to support and promote flexible working in different contexts including special schools and alternative provisions.

Key Features:

  • Communities of practice: collaborative leader and teacher groups, working together on a few high-leverage areas for improvement
  • Peer review
  • Subject networks (for teachers by teachers)– focusing on designing and curating the curriculum, and focusing on enacting great pedagogy
  • Creativity music and cultural education.

Key Features:

  • High-quality, evidence-informed continuous professional development at every stage of their career via our Teaching School Hub and Research School.
  • Our universal Coaching and mentoring support for all school leaders includes monthly supportive and confidential coaching from external organisations
  • Opportunities to progress through clear career and development pathways
  • Flexible working opportunities
  • Opportunities to lead work within and beyond Trust schools.

All our staff have 24 hour access to wellbeing and counselling support service. We are partnered with CIC healthcare which provides online tools to support our team with different dimensions of wellbeing including mental health, financial wellbeing and physical wellbeing.

We partner with ImpactEd on their teacher engagement platforms to provide all school leaders with actionable data from staff engagement surveys from six collection windows.

The approach is evidence led and provides anonymous data broken down by demographics to help leaders direct action and support for teacher and staff engagement, retention and satisfaction.

We are tackling mental health stigma within the Trust promoting an open and understanding culture. We give the same consideration and support to mental health as physical health, including in the management of staff absence.

We ensure that staff understand the real benefits that sensitive pastoral support can have for children & young people, while also recognising where their limits are as non-specialists. We will therefore ensure there are opportunities to increase joint working in support of pupils, as well as routes to refer for specialist support.

The Trust is home to a DfE Behaviour Hub and we work with staff and pupils to maintain and implement effective school-wide policies.

We will support staff to create calm, safe and disciplined environments that allow teachers to teach and pupils to learn.

We have specialists across our schools and Central Team with a breadth of experience.

Our CEO is a member of the DfE task force to drive down unnecessary workload across the education sector. In 2022 our Teaching School Hub Director contributed time and expertise to help develop The Workload Reduction Toolkit - a guide for schools to identify and reduce workload and evaluate reduction initiatives.

As a Trust we are continuing to work proactively to reduce unnecessary workload in our schools and champion the principles of The Workload Reduction Toolkit.

As a Trust we have long championed reducing teacher workload and in 2016 (updated in 2019), we led a regional project focussed on effective marking in schools. As an outcome of our learning on how to Mark Less & Mark Better, we produced a guide for schools which you can access below

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