City of London Academy is in Southwark which is in one of the most socially deprived areas of the country. Over the last five years has seen the school move to the top 10% of non selective schools in England. Teacher turnover has decreased from 16% in 2015 to an anticipated 10% in 2017 while the academic achievement of the students has increased substantially year on year.
Hannah Mathews leads on wellbeing at City of London Academy in Southwark. Here she outlines the work that has been done to improve staff wellbeing, morale and retention making the school a more positive place to work.
“As a school we wanted to support our staff who we know work in what is an increasingly challenging profession. We looked at the Investors in People award but opted instead to work with Education Support Partnership because of the support they could offer to help us achieve our own goals.
We already had a number of initiatives in place to support staff such as free pilates, health care and termly staff rewards. However, it became clear that staff wanted to see systemic change in the school to improve their working lives further.
Since commencing the Education Support Partnership Positive Workplace Programme and Employee Assistance Programme our staff turnover has already improved for teachers from 16% in 2015 down to an anticipated 10% in 2017, and staff report that the school is a more positive place to work. Our academic results are also greatly improving year on year.
Wellbeing is now on our school’s whole development plan as well as being on the agenda of many of our internal meetings too. Wellbeing really factors into our decision making now as we are on a continuous journey, staff say that they appreciate feeling heard and that they feel positive about working at City of London Academy.
Here are some of the key changes that have been made to facilitate this shift which has helped to create a thriving workplace:
appreciative enquiry sessions with SLT, wellbeing team and support team focusing on wellbeing. The model has been rolled out to the whole school in a twilight inset
Having the support of our Education Support Partnership consultant has really given me the courage to facilitate whole school change. They have ensured that any work I do has a real impact of the wellbeing of staff and is not just tokenism.”
In order to achieve the cultural shift that the staff have requested, all senior and middle leaders have taken the opportunity for professional coaching by our Education Support Partnership coach.
It is hoped that the coaching sessions will support our middle leaders who reported feeling the most strain and in turn shift a leadership style that will benefit the whole school.
We have started a culture shift through making changes of top down communication styles, and in the recruitment new staff to balance our existing teams in light of our new wellbeing agenda.
Watch a short video where Hannah outlines how staff wellbeing has been improved at City of London Academy.
What would you say to other schools?
We would definitely recommend addressing staff wellbeing through the Positive Workplace Programme to other schools.
Education Support Partnership really worked hard to understand our school and they provided a fresh objective take on the issues we were facing. They were not afraid of asking difficult questions and then championing the work that we did to make things better.
Overall, they provide a full service that addresses the issues that really affect wellbeing specific to your school. Their consultants are excellent coaches and well placed to speak knowledgeablely and authoritatively about life in schools."
Take advantage of our 40% discount
Not adequately budgeting for staff wellbeing could be costing your school in terms of recruitment, staff absence, supply cover and reduced productivity. By contrast, schools which find the precious resources to focus on this area experience benefits far beyond just cost savings.
Given this Education Support Partnership are currently offering 40% off the average regular price of the Positive Workplace Survey if you register before the end of March.
The service includes pre and post survey in-school consultancy, presentations as well as the robust and confidential staff survey and report. Please email at email@example.com or call 020 7697 2750.
Save the date –Tuesday 25th April - 0800 – 0930am
You are invited to hear more from the City of London Academy, Southwark about how they achieved savings, improved retention and increased productivity at their school through implementation of the Positive Workplace Survey. If you are interested in coming along please call us on 020 7697 2750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org