How important is wellbeing to you?

This month, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing has released its report into the key factors for wellbeing in the UK.

The organisation’s research took seven months and included interviews with more than 4,000 people and institutions.

Director Nancy Hey says: “Some argue that wellbeing is the ultimate measure of success in both government policy and professional practice. And because it’s elusive, it’s often that decisions are made on little hard evidence.

“We need to be designing policy and practice for humans, for real people, to create the conditions for people to live better lives… to do that, we need hard credible research.”

Their findings come shortly after the Office for National Statistics revealed its latest data, covering 2012-2015, which found that those aged 65-79 reported the highest levels of personal wellbeing. The sample aged 45-59 had the lowest levels of happiness (and highest anxiety rates).  

To compile the research, the centre ran a series of events around the UK – in Falkirk, Belfast, South Tyneside, Bristol, London and Cardiff to understand what matters to people.

The response was positive and participants expressed a desire to be asked and talk about wellbeing. This is something that should not be ignored in the education sector. Being abreast of how staff feels is essential, particularly if we have any hope of solving the current recruitment crisis.

As an idea, wellbeing was commonly understood to be ‘confidence, a sense of self-worth and a good quality of life’.

The key factors are:

  • Feeling safe & secure
    This includes financial stability, good physical and mental health, a good job, housing and access to the natural environment
  • Feeling loved, respected & appreciated
    Belonging to a community, building positive connections, feeling part of something bigger, and having time alone when required
  • Feeling fulfilled
    That sense of achievement and being recognised for it. Having time to have fun and learn. Feeling in control, with choices and opportunities.

What changes would you like to see in your school to promote your wellbeing at work? Tell us at support@edsupport.org.uk or call our confidential helpline on 0800 0562 561.

If you are a headteacher interested in our Positive Workplace Survey, click here for more information.