Wellbeing Working Group

Rationale for the Northern Schools Trust Wellbeing Group

All schools in the Northern Schools Trust seek to transform the life chances of the young people in their care and the families that surround them.  This often requires going above and beyond the expectations of a normal job role – teachers forge productive and often involved relationships with their students and manage often complex roles and demands that if not managed carefully can result in stress and burnout.  Support staff too are managing a climate of change and financial stringency.  Schools are demanding places to work and require a proactive approach to wellbeing.

With this in mind, the NST wellbeing group has been meeting in order to meet the challenge of developinga set of policies and practices that support the wellbeing and engagement of all NST staff so that they can deliver the best possible futures for the children and young people in their care.  It is our mission to make the NST the best place to work for all colleagues.

Using approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry and research based positive psychology approaches we have developed a set of principles and a series of recommendations to inform future planning, policy and practice both within individual schools and at a Trust level.

During our sessions in 2015-16 we agreed a set of 6 Principles for Improving Wellbeing in NST Schools to help us all feel good and function well:

  1. Happy people are more effective people: we believe that happiness leads to success (and not the reverse) so we want to encourage staff and students to be well and happy.
  2. We want to create a positive mental attitude and approach in staff so that this transfers to students.
  3. We encourage all colleagues to consider the wellbeing of themselves and others in their daily actions and interactions.
  4. All colleagues, each school and The Northern Schools Trust are committed to being proactive to support wellbeing.
  5. All NST schools provide enriching opportunities beyond the classroom to improve wellbeing.
  6. There is a well-established sense of community across NST schools and we can build on this to improve wellbeing.

Successful outcomes of the NST Wellbeing Group in 2016-17

HR to publish summaries of how we support family life and life work balance within the new policy framework eg entitlements and expectations Completed
Dignity at work policy to be shared at briefing in all schools as this encourages colleagues to resolve conflict early Completed
Induction:  the good practice established at NLA to be disseminated so that there is a structured programme of induction that focuses on early and regular contact pre-joining and includes an induction review at the end of the first month Completed
Talent management process established to dovetail with CPD opportunities as NST processes evolve Completed
Recognition and reward systems to be promoted in each school – eg teachers of the term/Star of the week (UTC); 100% attendance draw Completed
Successful Cross Trust programme of events to organised and publicised by events team for 2016-17:  Badminton; NST choir; 5 a side football; Cross Trust Christmas party Completed
Each school or the NST to organise a wellbeing week, and/or ongoing opportunities for health checks, mindfulness sessions, yoga, Completed
HR roadshows to publicise the support that already exists under our policies eg occupational health and counselling Completed
Peer to peer support structures to be considered in individual schools eg Studio introducing Peer Coaching model eg Peer coaching introduced in The Studio Ongoing
Extension of regular supervision for Inclusion teams to all schools Ongoing
NST to subscribe to a counselling line that offers 24 hour access to support services Completed
Wellbeing group to continue to meet each cycle next year and to develop evaluation tools for us to assess impact using the table below as a starting point. Completed

The Priorities for the NST Wellbeing Group in 2017-18 are:

  • To continue the raise the profile of Wellbeing and the Wellbeing Group in the policies and practices of all schools
  • To build on the successful workshops that form part of NST Cross Trust CPD
  • To successfully complete the Wellbeing Charter in each of our Trust Schools

Meeting Schedule

Date and Time School Priorities
Development plan for this year and organisation of events
Term 2 Thursday 9th November 2017

4pm – 5pm

CUC Launch

Staff survey and focus groups.

Planning wellbeing events for CPD day and within schools.

Review of successes and action planning for this year.

Identifying Health and Wellbeing Champion for each school to guide the audit and action planning process

Communication of wellbeing opportunities new and old eg cycle to work; counselling/advice line; counselling; OH; financial and pension advice.

Term 3 Thursday 18th January 2018

4pm – 5pm

NLA Wellbeing Charter preparation


Absence management

Health and Safety Mental Heath

Smoking and Activity

Alcohol and Substance abuse

Physical activity

Health Eating

Term 4 Thursday 1st March 2018

4pm – 5pm

KWS Wellbeing weeks in school

Wellbeing Charter

Term 5 Thursday 19th April 2018

4pm – 5pm

WUTC Wellbeing Charter Visits review and planning for Cross Trust CPD

Wellbeing weeks planning

Term 6 Thursday 14th June 2018

4pm – 5pm

CUC Wellbeing weeks planning

Launch of Staff survey and evaluation

How to get involved.

We’re interested in your views.  You can send comments and suggestions to: [email protected]