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Wellbeing policy

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Danni2, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Danni2

    Danni2 New commenter

    Our school is writing a wellbeing policy. They have proposed to put the following on there and would welcome your thoughts:

    -Uniform (as we get a tax break)
    -Car park
    -Staff room
    -Performance management
    -Induction for new staff
    -Lunch provide (we are on duty so I was under the impression that this had to be on offer?)

    I wonder what things are on your policy or what would you expect to see?

    Thank you.
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Are you a teacher or police officer?
    Pomza, Flanks and Danni2 like this.
  3. Danni2

    Danni2 New commenter

    As I said, not mine. I’m interested in opinions as I have mine but want to check that they are corroborated (yes, that was deliberate!)
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Uniform? For staff? Heavens, what would it be to get you a tax break?

    I don't understand what you mean by putting that list into a Wellbeing Policy. What will the policy say about them?

    Why reinvent the wheel? There are several model policies about, eg this one from NASUWT. it doesn't list the things you refer to, although some are within its general scope.

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  5. Danni2

    Danni2 New commenter

    Thank you for the link. This is much more professional and less grasping at straws, as far as I’m concerned.
    Yes, you get a tax break if you have to wash your own uniform!
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Only in very limited circumstances. You need to get your union to advise you on this. I doubt many teachers would consider a tax deduction for uniform cleaning costs would be a sufficient inducement to have to wear a school uniform.

    But more to the point, what has it got to do with staff wellbeing?
  7. Danni2

    Danni2 New commenter

    My thoughts exactly
  8. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Why don’t you ask the staff ? Wellbeing will mean different things to different people of course so reaching a consensus ( and implementing the policy ) will be tough I suspect
  9. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

  10. Danni2

    Danni2 New commenter

    This is the proposed ideas that they’ve given to us. I want to challenge their ideas and that was the purpose of my post - to see what other schools felt.

    Meggyd - if only!
  11. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Can't you specify things like the number of after school meetings in a week? Work life balance.
    FrankWolley, Danni2 and Catgirl1964 like this.
  12. lynne33

    lynne33 New commenter

    How about an email policy? Set times and no infringements? It's made a huge difference at my school. I used to receive emails from 5am until 11pm. We now stick to none after 5.30pm and definitely not at weekends/during holidays.

    My school also cancelled all meetings last term to allow us to work with students. Transformed our workload and wellbeing!
  13. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Ahh - not clear from the post . We linked Wellbeing to Emotional Literacy ....
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There was a thread about this on here last year and posters were split about it. Many here said that the problem wasn't when emails were sent but the expectation that they should be answered outside school hours. They wanted the freedom to send them at times they found best for working, as long as no-one was expected to reply.

    Some teachers with young children said they didn't want to have to stay in school to 5.00pm sending emails, they preferred to leave immediately to collect their children and then do emails in the evening after their children were in bed.

    So blanket ban on sending might not be universally welcomed. A blanket ban on being expected to reply would!
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Teachers can already claim tax relief on PE kits!

    A genuine effort to improve ‘wellbeing’ should focus on core workload issues, not gimmicks.

    Look at your marking, planning, assessment and data-tracking practices. Look yourself in the eye and ask how much of what teachers are expected to do REALLY has a demonstrative impact on student outcomes, then immediately ditch everything else.

    Then get rid of any high-stakes (but ultimately pointless) PM things you do (graded lesson observations etc.).

    That will be the job done, trust me.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Uniform? I'd rather pay the tax!
    Car park? Surely either your school has a car park or it doesn't? It can hardly build one in the interest of staff wellbeing.
    PM? How does that link to wellbeing? (It can do and in some schools does, but simply stating PM is part of staff wellbeing is a nonsense.)
    CPD? Does it link to wellbeing? How? Again, it can do...but can also be the total opposite.
    Induction for new staff? This just happens...nothing to do with wellbeing.
    Lunch provided? Yes, it's nice to have it available. But is the financial cost to the school worth it?

    Other than uniform, the rest wouldn't bother me one way or the other to be honest. Certainly listing them in a wellbeing policy just seems like pointless paperwork and so I'd leave SLT to it. At least it would keep them in their office and out of the way. (I'd resign with immediate effect if instructed to wear a school uniform!)

    At least they aren't suggesting compulsory social or sporting events.
    Danni2 and strawbs like this.
  17. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Well-being from an organisational point of view should be about ensuring that staff feel healthy and able do do the reasonable duties that the employer expects.
    The irony is that organisations that feel the need to have a well-being policy probably don't care that much.
    There are several comments above, that I agree with. PE teachers apart, a teachers' uniform probably goes against well-being.
    In the majority of schools, this is an essential feature. In very urban schools, perhaps there are reasons for not providing a car park. Not much to do with well-being.
    Pretty much standard until recently. The removal of or refusal to provide a place separate from the children for work and socialising would probably be considered a hostile act.
    Part of the culture of schools. some schools set targets with the expectation that teachers fulfill them and improve the outcomes for children. I have heard of schools that apparently use them as a tool for denying pay progression. The two words on their own don't mean much.

    All teachers should be expecting to develop professionally, all schools should be expecting to improve the skills of all their workforce. This can be done in a way to enhance well being, or a an onerous tickbox "death by powerpoint"

    Any school that doesn't provide this is not even fulfilling workoverload targets.

    It has been the custom in some schools I know to provide lunch as part of the reward for supervising the children. I would defer to others as to the legal necessity for this. All I know is that if the shift exceeds a certain period, then there is a right to a break.

    Reading between the lines, I get the feeling that you are not impressed by what has been offered by your school. What you set out is rather stark and lacking detail.
    The start point would be an acknowledgement that teaching is a demanding job requiring a large commitment of time, energy and thought. It is also emotionally demanding.
    A management commited to well being would do what they can to mitigate these demands. Such things might include:
    Ensuring proper breaks - with refreshments available (ideally free).
    Staff who are on duty should be considered carefully and as a minimum enabled a visit to the toilet and a drink.
    Management of workload - policies on sensible marking, investment in planning resources, schemes of work, texts (electronic or otherwise).
    Sensible working hours - no-one should be routinely expected to remain on the school site well into the evening.
    Careful consideration of "extra" demands like parents' evenings and times of reports. (Mrs P once worked in a school where it was pretty much expected that she spent the whole of the spring half term holiday writing the things, having invested £100 in the Microsoft desktop publishing software).
    Performance management should be about setting targets to benefit the children because the teachers, if they work well, hit them.
    I could go on - but I'll leave that to others. I don't think your school management @Danni2 sound as if they want to understand it.
    Danni2 likes this.
  18. lynne33

    lynne33 New commenter

    I feel blessed to work in my school listening to this!
    No requirement to respond to emails (thank you for correcting me).
    No marking of draft books just assessment books.
    No culture of staying after school - we are trusted.
    No graded observations and certainly no sacking following observations!
    Also free car park, lunch when on duty and for parents' evening!
  19. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Board hopping. I'm in primary but we have a list like this. I think SLT must be kidding themselves because a lot of the things on it just don't happen! And apparently the work, planning and lesson scrutinies are supportive and therefore contribute to staff wellbeing! o_O I can't speak for everybody but the way they are conducted raises my stress levels and I also don't believe in planning scrutiny. If teaching is effective, planning is effective.

    Suggestions I would have for wellbeing would be as follows:


    + Check that scrutiny has a purpose and, where possible, use that purpose as evidence to remove unnecessary scrutiny. E.g. Planning - if teaching is effective, planning shouldn't need to be scrutinised at all. If there are concerns, people should have the opportunity to plan collaboratively.

    + Feedback for any scrutiny should have a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning and be guided with professional development in mind. Therefore, dates not underlined or planning not highlighted in x colour, etc. is not acceptable feedback. Leaders should be reminded that they don't NEED to find an EBI if there isn't one!

    + While observation is necessary, it should not be graded, and leaders should be trained to be as unobtrusive as possible. Some people need to remember that watching somebody's practice should always be treated as a privilege and courtesies should be extended (and also modelled to pupils!)

    + Pay progression should not be based on x% of children achieving y target. It doesn't take into account the huge number of factors outside a teacher's control which influence a pupil's progress or indeed, mobility of pupils.

    + Protected PPA (replaced in cases where missed due to training, etc.)

    + No unnecessary meetings for the sake of meeting. By all means place them on the calendar, but be clear that if there is nothing to be discussed then meetings will be cancelled.

    + Careful consideration of the annual calendar to avoid pinch points when it comes to tasks additional to regular teaching (e.g. report writing, data, parents evenings, etc.)

    + New initiatives to be workload impact assessment AND this assessment to be shared with staff. If it's additional workload, give staff additional time (write off meetings if need to be).

    + Review planning, marking and assessment policies and expectations to reduce workload as much as possible and ensure that everything done is for the pupils rather than an external audience.

    + Collaborative planning and banks of resources and schemes for teachers to select from.

    + Parents to contact staff via admin office rather than direct email.

    + Clear expectations about email contact outside working hours (no expectation of a reply) and these to be shared with parents and if applicable pupils.

    + SLT to deal with behaviour effectively and supportively to enable teachers to focus on teaching rather than crowd control.

    + Clear policies on behaviour of parents towards staff. Zero tolerance on aggressive behaviour towards staff from parents.

    + Staff able to go to the loo and have a drink when on duty.

    + Spaces for staff to relax away from students.

    I think those are the things I'd like to see... Can live in hope!
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    No observations without advance notice of (say) 3 or more working days? Might improve some staff's wellbeing!
    Piscean1 likes this.

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