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Would you welcome a ‘wellbeing team’ in your school?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Staff wellbeing in most English state schools is playing music while the Titanic sinks. Pointless.

    However in a school where workload is reasonable, wellbeing has a place.
    Imagine a school which guarantees at least 30% non contact lessons, no meetings after school, no ridiculous data gathering, students get one piece of written feedback per half term. Additionally, school counsellors are on hand for students and staff, quiet areas around the school proliferate and there is a director of wellbeing.

    This is my new school. Obviously not in the UK.
     
  2. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    No, because it would be akin to Minimus the pig snorting on about how happy the overworked and collapsing Animal Farm workers were. Would the well being bod’s wages be covered by the cash savings from a capability kickout, perhaps?
     
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    :(
    I like and yet disagree with your Titanic music metaphor... :) Those men were emblems of selfless self-sacrifice..this sort of ‘I’m on your side’ employee wouldn’t be, they’d be an insidious wing of HT and they’d probably use his or her evidence to add to a ‘discipliniary’ Kick out. No, the musicians on the sinking ship represent the teachers, surely?!:(
     
  4. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    @schoolsout4summer , I salute your pithy and precise reply! :):);)
     
  5. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I bet the idea of staff well being to most English academies and bully-schools is to build a swimming poool for their miserable employees to drown themselves in. Deliciously cost-efficient, darling!
     
    tonymars likes this.
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Plus all the extra work on the staff to justify having the team there.
     
  7. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Indeed. A bit too close to other phrases like ‘critical friend’, ‘supported exit’ and ‘systematic empathy.’
     
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You've both got the slightly wrong Titanic metaphor.

    Aren't we the deckchair re-arrangers?
     
  9. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I was. Well not now! Buy my range of educational lifeboats and floats from my TES shop!
     
  10. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I showed my english teaching timetable to my director of wellbeing. One non-contact per week, loads of after school meetings and I explained the whole flightpath/assessment/intervention thing as well.
    She was open mouth horrified. In her opinion, good work/life balance is impossible. Good teaching is impossible due to lack of preparation time and not having time to meet with students. Asking staff to attend any meeting outside normal school hours is illegal in my present country unless staff agree to it and are paid for it. In my current school teacher admin is unheard of. Admin is done by people who are paid as administrators.

    The cuts to school budgets and OFSTED make teacher wellbeing a non-consideration.
     
  11. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    It seems incredible to me that 'staff well-being' should need to be an initiative. The very fact that it is being presented as a 'new idea' indicates serious issues and a broken system. How on earth can treating fellow human beings with basic levels of respect become a quantifiable initiative? It is absolutely unbelievable and in my mind is an admission of an unsustainable work culture.

    I did experience compulsory well-being sessions about 8 years ago. Ballroom dancing in my case, every fortnight after school. On one occasion I respectfully asked if I could remain in school and complete marking rather than taking it home, to me that would have had a much bigger impact on my well-being than being forced to smile and waltz at the same time. The result: I was shouted at and told that SLT had to ensure they were evidencing staff well-being, told how much (taxpayers) money had been spent bringing in the same SLT members best friend to teach us, and told that my well being was my responsibility so I must attend the session! Result: new job very quickly. The initiative faded away, as they tend to do, well before my notice period ended.
     
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Please no - I'd rather have a plague of flesh eating zombies
     
    patternandsurface likes this.
  13. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    No thanks.....but we would welcome a team that had the time to take high level rude and disruptive students out of lessons early on in the year so that students who do put in the effort on their studies can get on with it peacefully.
    Larger and larger SLT teams none of whom have the time or the know how to deal with a growing number of mini gangs in each year group in some of our schools.
    Lack of funding has reduced the size of pastoral staff and increased time tables for all teachers, middle leaders and TLRs has destabilised the behaviour patterns further.
    All they do is demand lots and lots of different types of evidence of teacher follow up sometimes over 200 hours of disrupted lessons per group before they lift a finger to help.
    Then they want middle leader intervention evidence or support for the teacher, which is rarely consistent or amount to anything useful and varies from school to school and middle leader to middle leader depending on their own workload.
    This is done by generally pushing the sole responsibility solely back on to the individual teachers who have to take the brunt of the difficult student groups, so that those with less teaching time tables can mentor ‘new’ staff and top sets where behaviour does not need a lot of admin time follow up during and after school.
    How on earth can they afford well being teams?
    We need time to breathe between one difficult disaffected group of 32 teenagers to another.
    That would really really help the well being of teachers teaching difficult groups for over 40 or more hours a fortnight.
     
  14. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Which country are you in now...are you still teaching? Sorry to be nosy..
     
  15. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    A superb and very perceptive post..exactly...why on earth should it be an ‘initiative’, it should be natural and a given basic form of mutual respect. It’s not. Teachers are enslaved by work and mismanaged by thick bullies. Hinds conglomerates the two and is useless.
     
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    That’s good, but remember that it takes two to tango...
     
    patternandsurface likes this.
  17. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Of course!
     
  18. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    ...who have done everything other than teach.
     
    Mrsmumbles and patternandsurface like this.
  19. patternandsurface

    patternandsurface Occasional commenter

    Wellbeing team sounds very sinister..makes me cringe.

    As a supply teacher or visitor it would signify that there is:
    a) a problem with work life balence in the school that has begun to really cause visable problems so the school is terrified and trying to look like they are doing something about it (but are not really).
    b) Staff on the whole don't feel listened to or respected
    c) Wayy too much paperwork
    d) Discontentment in the ranks - ie staff are not happy.
     
  20. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    As @colpee said, in my school 'The Well-being Initiative' worsened the problems it was claiming to help, by creating more meetings, and paperwork. It soon came to be distrusted, as if anyone went to the 'counsellor' about managing their workload, it soon got back to the SMT, putting a target on their back. Its practical measures were quite patronising: Indian head massages at £25 a pop, and putting samples of 'relaxing', fruity teabags in our pigeon holes.
     
    mothergoose2013 likes this.

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