Leading a culture of staff wellbeing

#wellbeingdgmeet

Being the lead governor at my school for mental health and wellbeing, I am            always keen to promote and find new ways of supporting the pupils and staff of     the school. Some of the key initiatives taken this year are outlined here.

FOR THE HEADTEACHER

When we appointed our new head teacher, one of the things we decided to put in place was a strategy to ensure that they were fully supported with their own         wellbeing as part of their induction. They also quickly formed a supportive network of other school leaders within the local area as a point of reference. As a board   we also recognised the importance that they utilised their dedicated headship time to allow them to strategically plan/undertake their own CPD, without being interrupted or becoming involved with the day to day running of the school. Another           important strategy was meeting with them on a weekly basis face to face, for a     ‘touch point’; just to see how things were progressing and to see if there was any additional support needed from the board. As time has progressed these             meetings have become less frequent (every two or three weeks) and are               interspersed with conversations via the telephone. The one constant factor being  that at some point in our conversation we would look at their personal wellbeing   and if any additional support was required.

FOR THE SCHOOL STAFF

During this first year the head, with board support, has initiated a number of new initiatives which have made the team feel more valued and also improved their wellbeing/happiness. These have included a 'shout out' board for staff to put up        ‘Post-it’ notes when they see another member of the team do something               extraordinary that can then be celebrated during staff meetings - the power of a simple "thank you"  should not be underestimated.  Also a number of teams have been set up around specific areas of the school (or for certain events) – where staff can volunteer meet regularly to discuss certain areas of the school  i.e. - the playground or Christmas performance. Another whole school initiative      involves all teaching assistants and support staff, in addition to teachers, now       having regular meetings with their line manager to discuss their own personal      development and which also includes their own wellbeing.

FOR THE GOVERNING BODY

As a Governing Body we also made an effort to work smarter. We invested in a service which allows for all the relevant documents, policies and procedures to be uploaded to a central server which all the Governors can access. This then enables policies and documents to be read at any time and commented on/ questions raised prior to board meetings. This has not only reduced the meeting times, but also increased the strategic questioning around the Head’s report and other reports and agenda items.

As governors I feel it is of paramount importance that we take a leading role in the wellbeing culture of the school and that everyone plays their part.

Author Profile

Matt  Young

Matt Young

Chair of Governors at a Special School

1 story

Comments

Lena Carter Lena Carter @lenabellina 2 months ago
We do not have governors in Scotland but it (or something similar) is on the cards with our national Governance Review. All I can say is that I'd wish to have governors as committed and wellbeing-aware as @mattyoung. Thank you.
2
Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 2 months ago
Another great example of the power of a strong governing board which prioritizes wellbeing of its staff by taking action. Reducing meeting times and recognition , ensuring equality and fairness for all. Fantastic work Mike. You and Kerry r both superb examples of what can be achieved when the governing body embraces positive mental health and workload
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Clare Erasmus Clare Erasmus @cerasmusteach 2 months ago
Fantastic work Matt. Apologies. Not Mike! Predictive text
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Anoara Mughal Anoara Mughal @ano 2 months ago
You are clearly very passionate and committed to wellbeing and have embedded t throughout your school. Brilliant!
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Anni Poole Anni Poole @simplybeing 2 months ago
What great ideas Matt, love the simplicity of ideas, they really support MHWB. Great to know you.
2
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 months ago
Exactly what it is needed! Often it is taken for granted that Heads and SLTs get paid to take the stress but a stressed Principal is of no use to anyone! Great work xx
4
Jonathan Harris Jonathan Harris @jonny 2 months ago
Brilliant - Viv Grant for me has been my go to person - havin 30 minute chat where she asked questions and led me through - brilliant thanks Viv. She is worth a follow and a shout out here we love ❤️ you @vivg hope that's her handle!
2
Jonathan Harris Jonathan Harris @jonny 2 months ago
Oops realised doesn't make sense. Viv Grant has been my go to person a 30 minute chat with her and her work on supporting SLT is amazing whoop whoop for Viv
1
CHARMAINE ROCHE CHARMAINE ROCHE @charmaine 2 months ago
Excellent practice. Really powerful to see a board of governors having that level of impact and autonomy.
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Julie Hunter Julie Hunter @mshmfl 2 months ago
Glad to say governors do s cooked breakfast on our school for staff. It is greatly appreciated.
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Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @lenabellina for your comments. Will be interesting to see what form of governance is adopted in Scotland.
1
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @cerasmus for your comments. I agree it is important that the whole governing board adopts a positive approach to wellbeing. As for real impact everybody in the whole school community has a part to play.
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @ano for your comments.
I believe that wellbeing should be a top priority of everyone in the school for it to truly become part of the school DNA
1
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @simplybeing for your comment. We tried to keep the ideas as simple as possible in order for the whole team to 'buy' into them.
Seems to be paying dividends so far.
1
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @natw for your comments.
I agree it is very important that heads and SLT are not left out of any wellbeing initiatives.
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @jonny for your comments. I agree @vivg is amazing. Always love reading her blogs - just so useful.
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Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @charmaine for your comments. It's think maybe being a small school gives us an advantage as a board in regards to impact and autonomy.
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @mshmfl glad to hear governors are helping the staff start the day well!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 months ago
Great modelling of the leadership of MHWB.
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Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @misswilsey - it's been so positively received we are all excited about what we can acheive next.
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 months ago
Great to share practical ideas which might strike a chord with others. Thanks for sharing, Matt.
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Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @jillberry. Key for me is that these were quick wins that have had genuine impact across the school community.
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 months ago
And you are so good at saying thank you! You live what you preach!
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Andy Knill Andy Knill @andyknill 2 months ago
Well done.
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Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 2 months ago
Only just catching up on this now! And WOW. You are an exemplary Lead Governor @mattyoung Your values shine through the brilliant work you are doing x
1
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 2 months ago
Thank you @kiran. Very kind of you to say. It has been very successful this year.
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