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staff wellbeing

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by wellard, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I am currently teaching in a school with a new head. Since they started the morale of the staff has hit rock bottom and some are off sick with stress related illnesses. I recently had a meeting with the head and explained that I was feeling very unhappy and the morale of many other staff was low. The response I got was 'We are here for the children.' I have spoken about this to this head several times and they just seem to turn a blind eye. I have also spoken to the Chair of Governors and they dont want to know either. There are now so many members of staff unhappy that they are all looking for new jobs and the behaviour of the children is also being affected. I do understand that schools are about the children but surely if the staff teaching them are unhappy then this will rub off on the children. It certainly seems to be happening in this case. My question really is does a headteacher have a duty of care to the members of staff in the school?
     
  2. Hi
    I am currently teaching in a school with a new head. Since they started the morale of the staff has hit rock bottom and some are off sick with stress related illnesses. I recently had a meeting with the head and explained that I was feeling very unhappy and the morale of many other staff was low. The response I got was 'We are here for the children.' I have spoken about this to this head several times and they just seem to turn a blind eye. I have also spoken to the Chair of Governors and they dont want to know either. There are now so many members of staff unhappy that they are all looking for new jobs and the behaviour of the children is also being affected. I do understand that schools are about the children but surely if the staff teaching them are unhappy then this will rub off on the children. It certainly seems to be happening in this case. My question really is does a headteacher have a duty of care to the members of staff in the school?
     
  3. What specifically has the HT put in place that has made so many staff unhappy?
    I worked at a school under a new HT who was only really interested in progressing his own career. Although he put forward the truism that "We all want the best results possible for Our Young People", what he meant was that he wanted the A*-Cs to rise dramatically to make him look like an effective HT.
    This he did in the short term by a series of measures designed to make insecure teachers (he favoured NQTs for vacancies every time because they are easier to push around) feel always on the back foot, experienced teachers feel patronised and stripped of their professional autonomy, an extensive programme of cheating, and endless "voluntary" after-school and holiday classes to "improve" coursework etc. Anyone declining was subjected to extra observations.
    In the short term there was an improvement in grades. But within two years almost every teacher aged 50+ had left, an entire core subject department lost all its staff, and there were many other departures too. I remember one end of term do when 17 various staff left at once. Staff he favoured were promoted into those positions and the rest were filled by NQTs. Results started to fall again and by the time I walked out they were back their original 48%-ish. They went right down the drain after that and then he left too.
    It appears that no cmplaint against him - bullying, mainly, though I threw the cheating in too - could ever be made to stick, and the accusations were always turned back on the complainer as failure to cope, incompetence (he had three teachers sacked on capability), refusal to share the vision or to want the best for our young people.
     
  4. paeony

    paeony Occasional commenter

    Me too - and I only teach a 0.8 fte timetable. I teach 9 different schemes of work in a week. I ask to work less (I have young kids), SMT say no, as they can't accomodate the timetable.......even though I'm teaching over 50% of my time outside my specialism. Apparently "It'll have a detrimental effect on the kids". For this read "It'll have a detrimental affect on our results as we need you to teach GCSE and get results"

    We're a leafy suburb comp, which is 'outstanding' but with that has come endless observations, data analysis, meetings and spreadsheets as SMT attempt to ensure tihs continues - all at the detriment of the staff and the kids, who now have little choice over the GCSE's as the school is going Baccalaureate first, choice second.....again, to cover their @rses for the league tables.

    Anyone else with SMT, even if they can't change the system, would just be a bit more, well, honest? It would be so nice to actually be able to trust what they say and feel that they had some sort of empathy towards their hardworking staff.
     
  5. Funny how HT's and college managers haven't yet learned that having happy, unstressed staff is what is actually in the children's best interest.
    Being told you are not thinking of the children when you are on your knees, exhausted and completely demoralised is one of the reasons people are leaving in their droves.
    The truth is, SMT knows this but money will always come before staff welfare.
     

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