The recent DfE Working Lives of Teachers and Leaders Survey (2023) reported that education staff had lower wellbeing scores than the general population between 2019-2022. So, how do you support your staff in rejuvenating and restoring their working capacities during the school holidays?

Encourage staff to ‘switch off’ from school   

Research shows that anxiety about work during a holiday has a negative impact on an individual’s ability to recover. Leading from the front is crucial – consider the example you are setting as a senior leader if you send emails over the break. Do you only copy in those who need to be, and are you only dealing with those things that are genuinely urgent? 

Do you have a policy on checking emails during the holidays? Can you encourage staff to cover for one another to enable everyone to take a break without needing to check in? Have you established a leadership rota to give your leadership team time to recover too? 

Staff wellbeing and self-care strategies 

Rightly, pupil wellbeing continues to be a focus for all schools, and sadly, not a day seems to go by without some form of report or commentary on the fragile state of young people and their wellbeing. However, have your wellbeing strategies extended to staff? 

Our research on this topic has focused on the link between teacher wellbeing and overall pupil performance. We have found that the more open cultures, created as a consequence of how schools are now supporting pupil wellbeing, have positively impacted the readiness of staff to seek help when necessary. Schools are increasingly opening up to staff support services and strategies that have typically only been available to pupils. Ensuring staff know what support is available to them is essential. 

Monitoring and supporting staff wellbeing 

We regularly support schools with surveys to assess staff engagement. Employees are less likely to report work-related stress if they understand their role and are satisfied that they have some say in how they work. They will also feel more positive if professional development and growth are actively supported. Schools regularly monitor pupil wellbeing, including using RSAcademics Pupil Voice Service, but typically, this is not undertaken routinely for staff. Perhaps this could be an organisational New Year’s resolution for your school. If you are interested in learning more about our staff survey services, please get in touch with us.