School Leaders

Reducing barriers to learning.


School leaders, including both the SLT and Governing body, must be fully on-board to create a supportive and fulfilling culture at a school in regards to its staffs emotional and mental health. This section contains hints, tips, and ideas for school leaders.

   Anna Freud – Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have put together a series of useful resources and guides designed to support School Leaders in embedding support for staff wellbeing.

You can view their staff wellbeing booklet here:

   Establishing a Wellbeing Committee

Successfully establishing and maintaining an effective Wellbeing Committee can be vital in embedding a culture of support in relation to the emotional and mental health of school staff. An effective Wellbeing committee can be a vehicle for positive change and constructive feedback.

The below document is a practical tool document relating to the establishment of a Wellbeing Committee supported by the Dfe:

   Questions for school leaders and governors

Below are a number of useful questions for School Leaders and Governors to consider when implementing policies, procedures and guidance relating to the emotional and mental health of their staff.

They cover topics are such as Governance, confidence, support, training and a whole school approach.

  1. Are all our staff trained to understand the emotional development of children and young people and how this affects their learning?
  2. Have we sought to discover the needs of our staff in terms of their own EHWB?
  3. Are our staff confident and competent in using a range of learning and teaching strategies that promote social and emotional skills and enhance the EHWB of our children and young people?
  4. Is extra support available and accessible to those members of staff working with the most vulnerable or challenging children and young people?
  5. Do we run training days where our staff can explore EHWB related topics such as relaxation, stress management and problem solving in order to promote the support that staff can access?
  6. Do we make good use of local and national CPD opportunities for all staff in teaching EHWB related issues?
  7. Are Governors invited and encouraged to take part in whole school CPD on EHWB related issues?
   School Workload Reduction Toolkit

Managing staff workload is a vital strain of any school culture that actively engages with and supports its staffs emotional and mental health.

This toolkit is a set of practical resources for school leaders and teachers to help reduce workload, produced by school leaders, teachers and other sector experts together with DfE.

www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit#identify-workload-issues-in-your-school

   Staff mental health in education toolkit

People are more and more aware of the need to support children, young people and those in education with their mental health. But working in education can have its intense demands and pressures too. Whether in colleges, schools or universities, it’s important to look out for staff and colleagues, and try to make their working environment a healthy and positive one. The chances are, it’ll translate to a better environment for pupils and students too.

MentalHealthatWork.org has collected ideas, advice, resources and examples for people across the sector: primary, secondary and further education.

You can access the toolkit here - www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/staff-mental-health-in-education

   Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development

Effective professional development for teachers is a core part of securing effective teaching. It cannot exist in isolation, rather it requires a pervasive culture of scholarship with a shared commitment for teachers to support one another to develop so that pupils benefit from the highest quality teaching. The thousands of professional decisions that must be made every day need to be informed by the best evidence, knowledge and professional wisdom.

Please see the standard here:

   Workload and Wellbeing Action Plan

Successfully embedding Workload and Wellbeing Action Plans for your staff can be vital in cementing a culture of support in relation to the emotional and mental health of school staff. Effective Workload and Wellbeing Action Plans can be a vehicle for continuous progress, quick identification of issues and long-term embedded support.

The below document is a practical tool document relating to the use of Workload and Wellbeing Action Plans supported by the Dfe: