St Edward’s shortlisted for School Wellbeing Award

May 3, 2024

St Edward’s has been shortlisted for the Staff Wellbeing School of the Year in the prestigious TES School Awards 2024.

We are one of eight nominees in the running for this national award, celebrating successful staff wellbeing initiatives and projects in schools.

We have undertaken extensive work around staff wellbeing over the past six years following the introduction of a twice annual staff wellbeing survey in 2018, which has focussed efforts and helped measure success. Initiatives have encompassed a broad spectrum of activities and resources to promote physical health, mental wellness, and work-life balance, including reviewing and managing workloads, and improving communication, as well as running events such as quiz afternoons and sports activities to boost teamwork.

Executive Headteacher Mr Michael Antram said:

“I am delighted to see our school among just eight shortlisted for this award, which is open to state and independent schools across the country.

 

“Staff wellbeing is a key priority for us, underpinned by our school ethos: “May We Be One.” From senior leaders and staff and students – we are a community, working together towards a common goal.

 

“We understand that happy and fulfilled staff members are essential for student success and the overall effectiveness of our school. By promoting a culture of care and compassion, where staff members feel valued, supported, and connected, we inspire colleagues to thrive personally and professionally – for the good of all.”

Key actions include increasing the visibility and approachability of the senior leadership team, overhauling the staff appraisal process to focus on professional development, and providing more opportunities for staff to voice their concerns, ideas, and feedback through wellbeing surveys, consultation groups and one-to-one meetings.

Extra effort is made to care for staff during peak pressure points in the school calendar – such as allocating ‘wellbeing time’, and providing Friday afternoon ‘cakes with quizzes’ events.

Clear policies have been laid down around staff communication and email protocols – for example staff are encouraged not to check or respond to emails outside work hours. We also provide an Employee Assistance Programme providing 24/7 access to a wide range of services for those seeking external wellbeing support.

The impact of this work is reflected in the results of the staff survey, with 99% of staff reporting that they enjoy work, and 100% responding that “My relationships at work are good.” Communicating the school’s mission has also played a key role in boosting wellbeing; positive survey responses to the statement “I know what we are trying to achieve at this school” have risen from 59% in 2018, to 99% in 2024.

Staff retention is high, with the average length of service for teachers at St Edward’s over 8 years, while 36% have been at the school for 10+ years, and just over one in ten have been there more than 20 years.

Mr Michael Antram added:

“We believe in what we’re doing and are so proud of the work we have done and will continue to do to support and foster the wellbeing of our staff, especially given challenges to staff wellbeing being experienced by all schools with growing demands and expectations being placed upon them.

 

“We would love to win this award and see our work as a school community recognised, celebrated and shared, but ultimately, the best reward for us is a successful and positive school community where staff feel happy, fulfilled, and able to give their best to our students.”