Charity calls for a year of staff wellbeing in schools

12th September 2018 By: Michelle Cunliffe

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is calling on all Local Education Authorities and the schools they work with to make this year a wellbeing year for school staff.  

The call comes in the week of the launch of Mental Health at Work, an online gateway to resources, training and information aimed at transforming mental health in the workplace in the UK. Shaped by the Heads Together campaign, the Mental Health At Work Gateway is funded by The Royal Foundation – of which Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is a charity partner – and produced by the mental health charity Mind.

This new online platform will provide the resources, training and information people need to make their life better at work for themselves, their colleagues and their staff. It will change the way we approach workplace mental health across the UK.

Jaime Smith, Programme Director for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools at AFNCCF said: “There’s been a great drive to promote pupil wellbeing in schools. As a children’s mental health charity we are delighted with this move, as well as the enthusiasm that schools and local authorities have shown to take this up. But if we don’t look after school staff, we can’t look after children properly and give them the education they deserve. It’s time to give teachers and their colleagues the support they need.

“Teaching is a tough job. It can be immensely rewarding but also physically and emotionally draining. For a long time school staff have raised concerns about levels of stress and while schools and local authorities are addressing the issue of stress, more needs to be done.

“We are calling on local authorities and schools to do three key things to help make this a wellbeing year for school staff: to download and use our free Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools booklet, to join our free Schools in Mind network in order to receive our school staff wellbeing resource later in the year, and finally to explore the Mental Health at Work gateway and all its resources,” said Jaime Smith.

The booklet looks at:

  • What we mean by staff wellbeing
  • What impacts on staff wellbeing
  • Leading a school that prioritises wellbeing
  • What can supervision look like in schools?

Later this year AFNCCF will publish a toolkit for schools to help them promote staff wellbeing. The toolkit will be based on a consultation with school staff carried out earlier this year through its Schools in Mind network, a free network for school staff and allied professionals which shares practical, academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools.