All employers have a moral responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees. Furthermore, in the context of a school environment, staff have a pastoral responsibility for the wellbeing of their students. They can only discharge this responsibility effectively if their own wellbeing is in good order. As such at Christ's College Finchley, staff wellbeing is considered to be a priority.
As a result, Christ's College Finchley enjoys many benefits such as a highly performing staff, low levels of staff absence, promotion from within and low levels of staff turnover. Indeed, we like to think of our approach to staff wellbeing as part of a ‘benefits package’ for staff. We, also, like to think of our staff as having increased levels of resilience, as a by-product of their wellbeing, and, most importantly, they are ‘wellbeing’ role models for students. Overall, Christ's College Finchley is adopting a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach.
The issue of staff wellbeing has been tackled at CCF by implementing strategies which address the potential sources of ill-being such as excessive workload, onerous time pressures, a lack of flexible work routines, a lack of workplace integration, a lack of recognition, a lack of workplace support, friction between staff and their line-managers and colleagues and mental and physical health issues. Left unchecked these issues are the cause of symptoms such as stress, excessive fatigue and anxiety.
Christ's College Finchley has a designated Staff Welfare Officer, who, supported by the SLT members with Staff Wellbeing responsibility, has a Staff Wellbeing Committee, Strategy, Policy and Action Plan which is reviewed regularly. The Wellbeing Committee is then responsible for the creation, implementation and analysis of specific wellbeing initiatives.
Socially, Christ's College Finchley staff enjoy barbeques and sports in the summer and Christmas socials in the winter. 'Cake at Break' is offered all year round, with Secret Santa and Sweepstakes firm favourites!
With access to a Wellbeing programme run through Schools Advisory Service, staff (and their immediate families) have access to GP appointments, counselling, some operations, physiotherapy, weight loss courses and menopause support. Additionally, the school puts on an annual Flu Vaccination clinic.
INSET days have a strong focus on wellbeing, where offerings range from workshops on managing stress, yoga, or a financial day surgery with specialists in the educational sector.
Staff Well-Being continues to evolve, where the result is a notably happy and contented school staff.
Schools Advisory Service (SAS)
Every aspect of the wellbeing wheel below is accessible by all employee's of Christ's College Finchley.
74.5% of all people accessing physio with SAS would have been likely to experience absence without intervention
It is estimated that around 43% of people in the UK suffer with chronic pain. In an effort to alleviate discomfort while you are waiting for a referral SAS offer a private physiotherapy service, which may also reduce the waiting time.
SAS carry out on average over 220 sessions of counselling per week.
Our research informs us that stress accounts for approximately 31% of absence within schools and academies. In an effort to improve this statistic, SAS offer solution focused therapy sessions to named staff.
61.1% of people who complete our 12 week Slimming World referral achieve a 5% weight loss
Working in partnership with Slimming World to provide a 12-week weight management service for staff with a BMI above 30.
Nurse Support Advice
In 2018, our nursing team supported over 13,600 school staff across the UK.
SAS directly employ NMC registered nurses who are on hand to speak to whenever you have a health concern. Our nursing team can sign post to relevant wellbeing services, as well as offer advice and support for any query staff have regarding their health
In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51.
SAS work in partnership with Simply Hormones covering issues associated with menopause and all of our in-house qualified nurses are trained to provide support for these queries
Mindfulness support supplied by SAS is approved by the NHS.
SAS offer Be Mindful & Thrive with SAS mindfulness support to help instil the user with coping strategies for stress and anxiety. SAS Mindfulness support supported over 1,000 school staff in its first month.
GP Phone and Video Consultations
Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Medical advice from active NHS GP’s for their own health or their children. Unlimited consultation length and no limit to the number of times the service is used.
Cancer and Chronic Illness Support
Recent statistics show that there are around 363,000 new cases of cancer in the UK every year. That is around 990 cases per day.
Our in-house registered nurses can offer support to staff if they or someone close to them has received a diagnosis of cancer. Additional complementary therapies can be made available to assist with the physical/psychological symptoms which can accompany such a diagnosis.
Private Medical Operations
According to NHS waiting times guide the maximum waiting time for non-urgent treatments is 18 weeks from the date booked
Research has shown that many staff absences are caused by staff awaiting an operation on the NHS, but due to the length of the waiting list and their level of discomfort they are unable to continue with their work duties. SAS work to reduce waiting times for non-urgent operations, enabling staff to return to their usual duties sooner.
Nurse Drop-In Clinic
More than two of our SAS NMC Registered Nurses are conducting drop in clinics for schools every school day.
Our NMC Registered Nurses carry out lifestyle health screenings at schools, allowing your staff to receive confidential one-to-one nursing time. The nurse will address any concerns the staff members have about their wellbeing including:
- Wellbeing Consultation
- Family History
- Medical History
- Current Medication
- Mental Wellbeing
Stress Awareness Sessions
Over 200 hours of on-site stress awareness courses were delivered by our consultants last year.
SAS can provide stress risk management workshops that can be tailored to the individual needs of each school. It can be an interactive session with staff on how to identify solutions to deal with stress, or it could be a more mindfulness focused session that concentrates on relaxation techniques.
Mental Health Awareness
Christ's College Finchley takes mental health as seriously as physical health, and seeks a preventative rather than cure approach. Trained Mental Health First Aiders, a supportive and confidential Staff Welfare team and a concerted focus on reducing workload are all ways that support our colleagues mental health wellbeing.
A National Survey Showed:
•67% of teachers are stressed at work
•33% of teachers and 68% of senior leaders work more than 51 hours a week - approximately 14 hours more per week than the national average of 37.4 hours (Office for National Statistics)
•74% of teachers say the inability to switch off from work is the major contributing factor to a negative work-life balance.
•35% of teachers experienced a mental health issue in the past year
•43% of education professionals’ symptoms could be signs of anxiety or depression (50% of those with symptoms were diagnosed by a GP).
Qwell is an easily accessed prevention and treatment service.
Free to use, it represents an extension to traditional IAPT ( Improving Access to Psychological Therapies ) support, with a strong focus on recovery and prevention and offering pre-assessment care.
Adults accessing Qwell can do so without the waiting lists or thresholds often associated with traditional services. They can join online peer support communities, access self-help materials or engage in drop-in or booked one-to-one online chat sessions with our experienced counsellors.
On Qwell you can:
- Chat online to qualified counsellors
- Read and write Articles
- Get online support from the Qwell community
- Set personal goals and record how you feel
The National College: Mental Health Essentials
Mental Health 'Certificate in Understanding Mental Health
The module is 85 minutes long and is designed in line with the policy Keeping Children Safe in Education.
- Establishing what is meant by mental health and the context behind it.
- Exploring mental health as a state of wellbeing and different mental health models.
- Understanding specific mental health conditions which are of higher prevalence in schools.
- Recognising the signs and symptoms and measures to help staff cope with these conditions.
- Understanding prevention measures and the importance of staff self-care
Module 1: Mental Health Theory
We learn about how mental health is defined and about the different models that help us to understand our thoughts, feelings and emotions. You will also learn about the different environments which help to shape your mental health.
Module 2: Key Areas of Mental Distress: Anxiety
We discuss the key aspects of anxiety and how fear and worry can seriously impact both student’s and staff wellbeing. It will provide essential tips for staff to consider and provide several resources for further education.
Module 3: Key Areas of Mental Distress: Self Harm
We learn about why individuals may self-harm and the different lengths that staff and pupils may go to, using self-harm as a form of coping mechanism.
Module 4: Prevention
We are provided with an overview of risk and protective factors around mental health in different environments, focusing on building resilience and ways to keep mentally strong.
Module 5: Staff Self Care
The emphasis is on the importance of staff taking care of ourselves and supporting one another. It will also explain how your own approach to wellbeing acts as a model for pupils to follow.
Display Screen Equipment
Christ's College Finchley protects our workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE), such as PCs, laptops, tablets and interactive whiteboards.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time. We describe these workers as ‘DSE users.’
Christ's College Finchley will conduct a workstation assessment for any staff who use display screen equipment (DSE) daily, as part of their normal work, continuously for an hour or more, and will then take steps to reduce risks.
Eye tests for DSE users
Christ's College Finchley will provide and pay for an eyesight test for a DSE user if they request one. This should be a full eye and eyesight test by an optometrist or doctor, including a vision test and an eye examination.
Glasses for DSE work
If the test shows an employee of Christ's College Finchley needs special glasses prescribed for the distance the screen is viewed at, the Academy will pay for the glasses.
Combat Screen Time
- Close your eyes for 10 seconds
- Open your eyes and focus on the furthest object in the room or on an object though a window, do this for 20 seconds
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 a further two times
This technique should help with relieving eye strain
- Stand up
- Using your right index finger write your full name in the air
- Repeat this with your left index finger
- Now using your right index finger write out your full name in the air backwards!
- Repeat using your left index finger
This technique encourages the use of different parts of the brain
- Stand up and look out of a window or around the room you are in
- Close your eyes for 10 seconds
- Open your eyes and try to identify as many objects as you can of a certain colour in 30 seconds
- Close your eyes for 10 seconds
- Open your eyes and try to identify as many objects as you can beginning with a certain letter in 30 seconds
This technique helps you focus in the present and tries to relieve anxiety.
- Take a deep breath filling up your lungs as much as possible and breathe out slowly
- Now breathe in for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds
- Breathe out for 4 seconds
- Repeat steps 2-4 five times
- Finally take a deep breath filling up your lungs as much as possible and hold for a second and breathe out slowly
This technique helps with relaxation and oxygen debt.