What organisational and individual statements would you add to your wellbeing charter?
September again … the summer holiday always seems to accelerate after week 4 and what seemed like something on the horizon, is suddenly upon you.
By break time on day one, the holiday is already becoming a blurry memory as you focus on what is in front of you. It is therefore, a great time for you to consider, both as an individual and an organisation, what small things and larger culture amendments can improve your year from the outset.
The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter
Here is a reminder of the document ‘The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter’ published by the DfE in November 2021 and its key messages.
In signing this charter, this school, college or trust commits to placing wellbeing and mental health at the heart of our decision making. We will support staff to make positive choices for their own wellbeing and encourage a collegiate culture across and between all roles in the school or college.
Within the charter, there is a commitment to:
- Prioritise staff mental health.
- Give staff the support they need to take responsibility for their own and other people’s wellbeing.
- Give managers access to the tools and resources they need to support the wellbeing of those they line manage.
- Establish a clear communications policy.
- Give staff a voice in decision-making.
- Drive down unnecessary workload.
- Champion flexible working and diversity.
- Create a good behaviour culture.
- Support staff to progress in their careers.
- Include a sub-strategy for protecting leader wellbeing and mental health.
- Hold ourselves accountable, including by measuring staff wellbeing.
What can you do?
Take a look down this list and mentally RAG rate (red, amber, green), where you think your school’s areas for development and strengths were last year. Whatever your role in school, there is a collective responsibility to strive for improvements in these areas. As an individual, just consider what your charter would look like. Consider how you are going to:
- Set your boundaries for your work/life balance.
- Support others who are struggling.
- Politely challenge when an initiative or task is in opposition to wellbeing ideals.
- For school leaders: how you will further work on a culture of wellbeing this year and role model a good work/life balance.
Everyone at every level carries responsibility for their own self-care and personal decision-making, though that decision making can only ever make the best of the broader context. Individuals also have a clear responsibility to look out for the wellbeing of others.
Also refer to our ‘Just Great Teacher Wellbeing’ resource.
This download, supported by psychiatrists and psychologists to support teacher wellbeing, includes a range of ideas, provocations, a walk-through video and an optional professional development webinar. Teachers will perform better if schools can offer the right tools to support mental health.