How to create a culture of staff wellbeing at your school

Mental health issues cost the UK economy an estimated £35 billion per year.

The three main components of this cost are:

  • Staff turnover, which accounts for nearly a tenth of the total figure (£3.1 billion). This is the cost of replacing staff that have left their job due to mental health issues. 
  • Sickness absence, which accounts for just under a third of the total (£10.6 billion). This is the cost of employees being absent from work due to mental health issues. 
  • Reduced productivity, which accounts for over half of the total (£21.2 billion). This is the cost to employers of employees being present in the workplace but not performing at full capacity. 

Whoever we are and whatever our role, we all need support from the people around us.

Taking a holistic approach means looking after the whole person, respecting and supporting them, and valuing their unique experience and contributions - the opposite of a ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

In practice, this means:

  • Providing support for colleagues to meet their individual needs.
  • Being a role model for wellbeing wherever possible.
  • Removing stigma attached to concern for wellbeing.
  • Talking openly about wellbeing and mental health.
  • Asking for help and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Positive thinking and believing the best about others.

Encouraging wellbeing is in everyone’s interest. Senior leadership teams and governing bodies have a responsibility to mitigate the risks of work-related stress.

As part of the leadership and management judgement, leaders are expected to recognise and engage with their staff and be aware of and take into account the main pressures on them. Leaders are expected to protect their staff from bullying and harassment.

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How to create a culture of staff wellbeing at your school