Staff Well-being

All employers have a moral responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees. Furthermore, in the context of a school environment, staff have a pastoral responsibility for the wellbeing of their students. They can only discharge this responsibility effectively if their own wellbeing is in good order. As such at Southfield School staff wellbeing is considered to be a priority.

As a result, Southfield School enjoys many benefits such as a highly performing staff, low levels of staff absence, low levels of staff turnover and a proven track record in attracting the best new talent. Indeed, we like to think of our approach to staff wellbeing as part of a ‘benefits package’ for staff. We, also, like to think of our staff as having increased levels resilience, as a by-product of their wellbeing, and, most importantly, they are ‘wellbeing’ role models for students. Overall, Southfield School is adopting a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach.

The issue of staff wellbeing has been tackled at Southfield School by implementing strategies which address the potential sources of ill-being such as excessive workload, onerous time pressures, a lack of flexible work routines, a lack of workplace integration, a lack of recognition, a lack of workplace support, friction between staff and their line-managers and colleagues and mental and physical health issues. Left unchecked these issues are the cause of symptoms such as stress, excessive fatigue and anxiety.

Southfield School has its own Staff Wellbeing Committee, Strategy, Policy and Action Plan which is reviewed annually in full consultation with the whole school staff. This process begins each academic year with a staff wellbeing survey with the aim of ascertaining any generic wellbeing issues, gather ideas for wellbeing initiatives and garnering support in their implementation. The Wellbeing Committee is then responsible for the creation, implementation and analysis of specific wellbeing initiatives.

In the past year alone Southfield School has implemented a range of staff well-being initiatives. Of note each member of the teaching staff (0.7 and over) has a Planning Off-Site (POS) allocated each fortnight. This is either a late start or an early finish which allows the member of staff to plan off-site once a fortnight. Every Friday staff enjoy an extended break-time (with cakes and biscuits) and time is granted for specific activities such as writing UCAS references and departmental planning. The new school day, from September 2018, is aimed specifically at optimising the time of both students and staff for maximum effect.

Physical fitness is addressed through ‘Boot Camp’, a military style fitness session, and yoga, both held once a week. There is, also, the ‘Biggest Loser’ weight-loss support group and Health MoTs. Socially, Southfield School staff enjoy barbeques in the summer and Christmas socials in the winter. This year, after the Christmas festivities had become a distant memory, staff were uplifted by our ‘Blue Monday’ event in which staff performed random acts of kindness for each other. Staff are recognised through our weekly ‘Unsung Hero’ scheme and during a recent staff training day enjoyed a range of activities from cake baking to car maintenance.

Staff Well-Being continues to evolve, with full input from the school staff, at Southfield School and will continue to do so. The result is a notably happy and contented school staff.