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Staff Wellbeing Playbook

Equity, diversity and inclusionMaking change with the communityPlaybookRelationships and behavioursValues driven approach

How do we as leaders create the conditions for positive staff wellbeing and give this the priority it needs.

Looking after ourselves has never been more challenging, nor more important. For recovery to be effective, looking after ourselves is essential. However, we know it can be hard for leaders to prioritise and model this – other things can often seem to be more important.

However, we know poor staff wellbeing is a huge challenge in our profession – it is up to us as leaders to come up with solutions. We all know, and there is evidence to support, teachers who are ‘well’ are more effective in the classroom. Not only this, but students feed off the energy of the teacher, if we want positive student wellbeing, we need positive staff wellbeing. If we can create workspaces which encourage people to stay in our organisations, we will have better trained, more experienced and happy staff.

We firmly believe that, if we are to avoid tokenistic wellbeing strategies, we need to start with the leadership. Just as students take their cues from a teacher, teachers take theirs from the leadership. What does it say if the leadership are telling staff they need to look after their own wellbeing, but they themselves are burnt out? What message does a new, ambitious teacher get about what it takes to rise up the career ladder if the senior team is sacrificing their own wellbeing – it can quickly become a self-fulfilling cycle.

About the author

Nicola Noble

Co-headteacher, Surrey Square Primary

Nicola is the head of Surrey Square Primary School, having worked as co-head with Liz Robinson since 2014. Nicola is a passionate teacher, rooted in the potential of every child, and always looking for engaging and meaningful contexts for learning. Among many things, she has lead the development of Surrey Square’s approach to ‘REAL’ project based learning, and brought the values to life with the design of the values characters. Nicola has worked extensively as a coach and trainer, notably devising and running a DfE funded programme for women leaders, with the Southwark Teaching School Alliance in 2016-18. She is Trustee for the food poverty charity Magic Breakfast. Nicola is mum to two young children and works flexibly in her role.

Important information

Who is this playbook aimed at?

Leaders who want to prioritise developing a positive staff culture in their school or trust

How does this course contribute to a Big Education?

Change is difficult – if we want to move to a Big Education, we need to ensure that the most precious changemakers in schools – leaders and teachers – feel positive about themselves and their organisation

Playbook preview

Staff Wellbeing Playbook


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