St. Patrick’s RCVA Primary School recognises that staff are its most essential resource and as such the wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance. We aim to create an environment in which talking about emotions and feelings, mental health and well-being is the norm. Where staff feel comfortable to acknowledge difficulties and ask for help. Where extra input can be provided to those with more serious problems in a coherent and non-stigmatising way, and where the whole school population has the skills and attitudes to support one and other.
This area of the website has been developed to promote and encourage health and wellbeing at work. It aims to bring staff wellbeing issues to the fore, whilst seeking to create a school culture where negative wellbeing issues are identified, minimised and managed.
The causes of stress at work
There are a whole host of factors which can cause stress at work, including:
- Emotional demands of the job
- Physical demands of the job
- Parents’ behaviour
- Excessive workload
- Workplace bullying
- School environment (air quality, lighting, state of classrooms, staff rooms)
- Lack of professional learning opportunities
- Low morale
- Excessive change
- Culture of blame
- Teachers striving for perfection
- Poor communication
How we can support the wellbeing of each other in our school
Don’t be afraid to seek help from one another. You can do this forming groups or pair up with a buddy. This can help create a mutual support network where you can influence outcomes positively and work towards solutions as a team. Share good practice on reducing workload with the senior leadership team who will consider implementing them throughout school. If you are feeling overwhelmed, make sure you inform a colleague or a member of the senior leadership team so things can be put into place to support you.
Identify and Address Stress
Work-life balance – make sure the day isn’t only dominated by work and ensure you have time off for eating and can fence off set times in the day for your families.
Tackle the environment – make sure you have a good environment to work in. Simple things like tidying and de-cluttering are easy changes to make and can enhance your workplace to help reduce stress.
Stop the perfectionism – nobody’s perfect, but the desire to be can be overwhelming. Stop putting unrealistic demands on yourself – these can often spill over into your personal lives too and are a major contributor to stress and anxiety.
Focus on happiness – spend time in reflection whether it’s prayer, meditation or contemplation they have all been shown to improve happiness. Consider running classes for others to help promote them.
Useful resource material for staff.
A new toolkit on emotional wellbeing, ‘How are you feeling NHS?’ has been launched to support employers create mentally healthy workplaces for staff. The toolkit aims to open conversations around how employees are feeling and help managers gain a better understanding of their own and their staff’s mental health.
The emotional wellbeing toolkit includes:
- information on the causes and impact of your mood and actions you can take to improve or maintain your frame of mind
- checklists to help you think about your situation that can also be used as a basis of a conversation with a staff member
- a range of visual measures which can be used by managers and their teams or individuals to conduct a dip test of their current level of emotional health
- top tips
- work based action plans
- discussion guides including how to start and manage a conversation on wellbeing.