In the current educational environment where schools are trying to increase pupil attainment within a reducing budget, it is not surprising that teacher wellbeing is often overlooked. However, from an organisational perspective, employee wellbeing is the key factor in performance, productivity and staff retention. Work stress is regularly quoted as the major reason for employee absence in schools and a recent study for the BBC reported that out of 3,500 members of the NASUWT consulted, 83% had reported workplace stress and 67% said that their job had impacted on their physical or mental health. Very worryingly, stress accounts for double the number of days taken off work than for any other illnesses!
Pupil behaviour is another quoted reason for workplace stress and is also in the top 5 reasons for teachers leaving the profession. In a Teacher Support Network and Family Lives Behaviour survey, 70% said they had considered quitting the profession over poor behaviour and 60% of respondents said that ‘additional training for teachers on challenging behaviour and using restraint and search powers’ were essential to improving pupil behaviour.
With these facts uppermost in our minds we have asked Andrew and Michala Black to join our team of associates in order to address staff wellbeing at one end of the continuum and pupil behaviour at the other. As Andrew told us at our last meeting, “I strongly believe that the most important people in a school are the staff – using the ‘oxygen mask’ principle, if we don’t put our own oxygen masks on first, then we can’t help anyone else. How can we expect teachers to inspire, motivate and guide our young people if they don’t feel cared for, respected and valued themselves? Emotions are contagious and a happy, fulfilled workforce creates ripples of positivity which spread throughout the school and beyond.”
Andrew Black, M.Sc, B.Ed Hons has a wealth of experience spanning the whole education sector including 20 years as Head of two schools, one mainstream Primary and one all-age generic Special school. His extensive experience in working with ESBD (Emotional Social and Behavioural Difficulties) pupils and the Special school sector means that he has ‘hands-on’ practical experience in dealing with challenging behaviour of all types and in many situations. Andrew’s philosophy is that good behaviour can be caught and taught if modelled by all staff within a ‘can do’ culture of positivity. His experience has shown that pupils’ learning and development improves dramatically when they feel happy and secure.
• Promoting positive behaviour – practical ways to re-engage pupils and improve learning behaviour.
• Managing challenging behaviour – de-mystifying the ‘use of reasonable force’ and understand when and how to use restrictive physical intervention techniques.
• Working together – improving relationships between school and home
Michala Black, MBA, PGCHPE is an experienced leader and manager with over 25 years in industry as a company director. She has worked as a management consultant, coach and mentor with private and public sector organisations including the NHS and Staffordshire Police. Her understanding of Leadership, Management and Developing People is both practical and theoretical as she has also worked with Manchester and Keele Universities and has over ten years’ experience as a Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire University.
This wealth of experience has given her a deep insight into how people behave at work and the problems that can result from the struggle to achieve a balanced & fulfilled life. After many years of working with senior managers, it became evident that in order to make changes in the organisation, it is first imperitive to make changes in yourself, “It’s the ‘soft’ stuff that’s the hard stuff!”. Over the past 8 years Michala has concentrated on developing a range of Wellbeing workshops that will show you how to flourish at work, at home, in relationships and everyday life by developing a positive mindset, a strong character and a healthy body.
• Wellbeing at work – the first step to change is Awareness. This session will introduce the concept of ‘Mindfulness’ and explore ways of managing stress productively.
• Changing your mindset – This session will explore some of the reasons we get ‘stuck’ and provide practical tips to challenge self-limiting beliefs and feel more positive.
Behaviour and Wellbeing courses can also be tailored to your individual needs, please contact us for further information.