Education staff wellbeing specialist Welbee has published the findings of its first UK-wide wellbeing survey, which involved nearly 8,000 education staff.
The survey showed independent school staff reported the lowest score, compared to other types of schools, for how organisational change is managed and communicated, which includes the degree to which staff are consulted and have the opportunity to question leaders.
However, independent school staff scored comparatively highest in terms of how much say they have in the way they do their work. This includes the degree to which they have choice and flexibility.
Welbee used the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards – demands, control, support, relationships, role and change – to measure what is happening in schools.
Independent schools generally scored similarly to state schools, with the exception of SEN schools – whose staff recorded the highest scores of any school type across the standards. Welbee suggested this could be because of greater one-to-one support and ‘purpose’ from supporting vulnerable students.
Differences between independent schools and other school types were not significant in most standards, which Welbee said supports the idea that “wellbeing is about the culture leaders create”.
Furthermore, senior leaders had the lowest scores in the majority of cases and middle leaders had the second lowest scores. “It is clear leader wellbeing needs focus,” Welbee said.
Welbee has made a number of recommendations in the report to support schools, colleges and MATs in improving staff (and student) wellbeing.
“Staff are facing unprecedented pressures as they negotiate their way through the pandemic, and this has thrown a fresh spotlight on the need for greater wellbeing support as well as innovative approaches to delivering it,” said Welbee founder, Mark Solomons.
Solomons said “putting staff first” is a better way to support pupil outcomes, rather than extending the school day or having shorter breaks.
You can download the full report here.