The discover stage involves identifying and acknowledging what works well in a school, as well as recognising issues and challenges. This involves working with members of the workforce to discover which elements of school practice are more successful than others and why.
Why is emotional health and well-being of the workforce important?
Staff members need to know that they are listened to, this increases the level of motivation and participation of staff ensuring that they are fully engaged within the school. A high level of involvement leads to staff with a greater sense of confidence and belonging, which impacts upon their day-to-day performance.
By enhancing staff emotional health and well-being, schools will be investing in their future by increasing staff retention rates, ensuring a consistent teaching experience for children and young people, and increased opportunities to build effective personal and professional relationships between staff, children and young people. The outcomes of providing a positive and supportive environment for staff will also reduce illness rates, and create a more cohesive staff community, which is key to the development of a healthy school environment.
A Healthy School is a safe, healthy place to learn and work. A Healthy School understands that a healthy, emotionally resilient individual will achieve, gain confidence and be a valuable member of the school community.
The National Healthy Schools Programme promotes the physical and emotional health and well-being of all adults within the school community, as well as children and young people. The whole-school approach encompasses the professional development needs, health and welfare of all adults working in the school including teachers, administrative staff, learning and teaching mentors, teaching assistants, premises managers and cleaning staff.
Healthy Schools is still an active project as the Coalition Government is committed to improving the health of children and young people. The Healthy Schools Programme will be school-led from April 2011. This will involve simplifying the tools, including the audit and from April 2011, a Healthy Schools Toolkit will be available. The toolkit will contain resources for schools to use to influence health improvement in children and young people and will help schools identify, plan and implement health behaviour change.
The Healthy Schools Toolkit will be hosted on the Department for Education (DfE) website, and will be a downloadable folder containing information, frameworks and templates. Please visit the Hampshire Healthy Schools website and visit the Latest news and New Enhancement Model pages for further details.
Healthy Schools audit tool 81kb – This audit tool highlights the minimum evidence criteria required to achieve Healthy Schools status. The tool can be used to reflect on current practice and action plan for future developments.
Healthy Schools and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) standards 68kb – This document highlights the Healthy Schools evidence criteria linked to the promotion of emotional health and well-being of the workforce. It also maps Healthy Schools standards against the HSE standards and provides examples of good practice.
Social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL)
What is SEAL?
SEAL is a Department for Education resource for schools that provides an explicit, structured, whole-curriculum framework for teaching social, emotional and behavioural skills. These skills underpin effective learning, positive behaviour, regular attendance, staff effectiveness and the emotional health and well-being of all who learn and work in schools.
How can I use SEAL to evaluate the emotional health and well-being of the workforce?
The following audit tools are designed to help you to assess the emotional health and well-being of the workforce.
WoW SEAL audit tool 34kb (Primary National Strategy – Excellence and enjoyment)
Where can I find out more?
You can access materials and find out more about SEAL at hias.hants.gov.uk/bal/course/category.php?id=7.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workforce rights and responsibilities
Discovering workplace rights and responsibilities means ensuring that you have an understanding of how workplace rights are formed. In the UK, workplace rights arise from three areas:
Well-being can be enhanced by having a Union Learning Representative (ULR) working with staff in the school.
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.
School needs to consider:
- are the social and emotional needs of our staff identified and recognised? What does our school do to meet these needs?
- are staff members consulted on their training and support?
- what other arrangements do we have in place for occupational health advice and support?
- are staff members involved in our key decision-making processes?
- are there opportunities for our staff to celebrate success?
- do we have an effective behaviour management policy and strategies to reduce staff stress?
- is there an easily accessible route to expert advice and assistance?
- are staff members regularly surveyed to assess their levels of satisfaction and contentment?