When inspecting a school, one of the areas Ofsted review is how well school leaders “ensure that the school has a motivated, respected and effective teaching staff to deliver a high quality education for all pupils, and how effectively governors hold them to account for this”.
To ensure that teaching is the best that it can be in order to maximise the impact on pupil outcomes, staff wellbeing is of paramount importance – however, as schools face a range of challenges, there is always the risk that staff welfare and motivation could be overlooked.
An article published in The Guardian at the end of last year highlighted that staff shortages have led to schools spending £1.3 billion on supply teachers. This is a rise of £300 million in the space of two years.
The year ahead will continue to bring further challenges. Some of these you may have no control over, such as Government priorities or Ofsted, but your school or academy may also face areas of challenge which are within your control. For example, you may be facing falling rolls and having to consider a restructure, or you could be managing conflict between members of staff.
All of these issues, whether internal or external, can have a significant impact on employee wellbeing and welfare.
The importance of your culture
For any school to run successfully, you need motivated, engaged staff. For this to happen you need a culture where employees feel valued and feel they can develop.
Culture can be hard to define but it exists in every organisation and influences how things get done. It can affect levels of staff morale, absence, employee turnover and engagement - all of which in turn can impact on pupils.
Part of creating a successful culture is having the right processes in place to get the very best out of your staff. Here are some top tips to keep your staff engaged:
• Empower, support and train your employees. Put personal development plans in place for all staff, and make sure they are fully involved in the process. Set expectations from the start so they know what they are working towards and give objective feedback on a regular basis.
• Encourage everyone to treat others as they would want to be treated. For the effective leadership and management judgement, Ofsted must consider “whether leaders have the highest expectations for social behaviour among pupils and staff, so that respect and courtesy are the norm”.
• Consider how engaged your employees are in the organisation, to achieving its goals and what you can do to increase engagement levels. Engagement and wellbeing levels are likely to be higher if employee relations are good.
• Ensure people feel a sense of belonging; that they feel valued for their contribution and able to speak up when necessary.
• Support employees through periods of change - involve others to help you and work on managing emotions as well as managing the actual change.
Employee welfare links to a wide range of management soft skills and HR topics. We have a number of pre-planned training courses scheduled for delivery around the country. If you are not able to find a course which meets the needs of your establishment, we can work with you to develop some bespoke training to be delivered at a time to suit you.
Want to find out more about the services we offer? Visit our website or simply call us on 0207 960 7769.