The deepen stage helps to gain a greater understanding of the scale and scope of the changes required and the root causes of the issues.
The following tools will help your workplace to deepen its understanding of the issues, establish the cause of the issues and clarify which members of the workforce may be or are most affected.
The following are Healthy Schools approaches to promoting emotional health and well-being within the workforce.
- An effective programme will build on the feelings and experiences of all those working in the school community and will involve all staff in the process.
- Ensuring that staff health and well-being initiatives are managed processes within the school will increase the chances of success.
- Making use of shared learning to put initiatives in place will ensure practice is embedded in the school, and owned by staff.
- Using benchmarking and ongoing evaluation and audit processes enables schools to measure progress.
- Ensuring that there are health and well-being champions and advocates throughout the school community who will ensure initiatives move forward in a creative manner.
- Networking in the local community enables schools to share expertise and motivation.
- Supporting staff and rewarding them for their commitment.
- Working smarter rather than harder can help deal with the pressure of excess and badly managed workloads.
- Ensuring that interventions are undertaken in a professional and positive manner will help individuals to feel valued and supported.
- Looking after and developing staff can contribute directly to young people's development and learning.
The develop section will highlight practical ideas to promote the emotional health and well-being of the workforce.
Social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL)
Why are social and emotional skills central to school improvement?
Social and emotional skills are essential for all those who learn and work in schools. This includes all pupils and staff, not just those pupils with identified social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Effective learning, high academic standards, an inclusive culture, positive behaviour, good attendance and good professional practice by school staff are challenging to develop unless both pupils and staff have social and emotional skills, and the ability to manage their own behaviour.
Social and emotional skills contribute to staff effectiveness and well-being. If school staff are to be able to help pupils develop social and emotional skills then they need these skills too. Such skills inform professional competence as well as learning since teaching is fundamentally a social activity, demanding high levels of emotional sensitivity, good self-management, empathy and the ability to make relationships. Programmes to promote social and emotional skills have been shown to have a beneficial impact on staff well-being, and can help tackle the high and rising levels of staff stress and improve staff retention.
"For many schools the first step to SEAL implementation will be to review and develop a common set of values and beliefs to underpin the development of SEAL in the school. The School Leadership Team needs to show an on-going commitment to model the social and emotional skills in their action."
NHS Programme manual
OfSTED's view is that leadership is seen as the main factor ensuring success when implementing SEAL. The impact of leadership is made evident when leaders:
- incorporate the programme into the school's other priorities
- link it to broader school improvement
- appoint a key member of the senior leadership team to lead the initiative
- make time for staff to discuss, and reflect on, the own social, emotional and behavioural skills
- gradually involve more staff in leading aspects of the programme.
"The overarching message is that SEAL programmes can and do have a positive impact on the experience of staff and pupils in school….This is not a 'quick-fix' approach, but one that takes time, tenacity, vision and strategic leadership before the rewards are reaped."
Making secondary SEAL work – OfSTED
Do you know what stress is and how it manifests itself?
It is estimated that 50% of all sickness absence experienced by teachers can be attributed to stress, which may lead to mental health problems. In 2008, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Local Government Employers (LGE) and Teacher Support Network collaborated to produce a booklet on common mental health problems for teachers and other staff.
The HSE offer a risk assessment approach to managing stress in the workplace using a set of conditions (management standards) that reflect high levels of health, well-being and organisational performance. There are a number of tools available to support you to both discover and deepen your understanding of workplace stress. These are:
HSE indicator tool
There is considerable information available on the HSE website on the standards, along with a copy of the indicator tool and an analysis tool. Use of the HSE tools require some commitment of all staff including the leadership team and resource to enable analysis.
HSE management competency tool
The HSE has developed a tool to enable line managers to assess their own competency in managing stress amongst their staff.
The Health and Safety Team offer a stress management guidance procedure, a stress management standards assessment checklist and a stress risk assessment, all based on the HSE management standards. The team recommend that schools complete the assessment checklist and then use the risk assessment on identified areas of concern. These tools will ensure that you meet your duties as an employer and provide you with credit towards your health and safety audit. To get the full benefit in preventing stress and maximising whole staff well-being, it is recommended that you ensure that you engage fully with your staff in using these tools.
Well-being traffic light tool
The Well-being of the Workforce Team have developed a well-being traffic light self-audit tool, which is currently being piloted within a number of schools in Hampshire. The tool presents a series of statements for Headteachers and other school staff which reflect the culture in a well-being school. Headteachers and their staff can then rate how the school is performing against each statement. Schools will then be able to work closely with their staff to assess their current performance and areas for development.
For more information please contact email@example.com.
Workforce rights and responsibilities
Deepening your knowledge of workforce rights and responsibilities in your school requires you to initially audit whether you are allowing staff to exercise the rights and entitlements that they have.
The WoW Team have developed a well-being traffic light self-audit tool, which is currently being piloted in Hampshire schools, to support evaluation of staff perception in respect of receipt of their rights and responsibilities. Once schools have used this tool with their staff, they will be able to ascertain if there are particular areas that staff believe need addressing.
For more information on this tool, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rights, respects and responsibilities (RRR)
RRR agenda within Hampshire stems from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and can be applied throughout the whole-school to include adults, not just children. The document below highlights how an RRR ethos can contribute to the whole-school.