Working to support each other.
We know that there is a strong evidential relationship between happy, healthy staff and clear school improvement.
At The Forest High School we are committed to our duty to ensure that we have practices and policies that support and are sensitive to staff well-being. We aim to create an embedded ethos where every member of staff feels valued and respected, and where these core values are at the heart of all professional relationships.
SLT and Trust Board members take this responsibility very seriously: staff wellbeing is part of our School Improvement Plan and is a regular item on our weekly meetings.
Our commitment to staff:
We have a constant focus on the pressures that arise from workload and aim to reduce it:
- Any lesson observations are to see everyday practice: we do not grade lessons;
- Feedback is focused on student progress, not on staff ‘performance’;
- The Curriculum and Assessment Group, which meets termly, undertakes to reduce unnecessary workload arising from ineffective assessment strategies.
We aim to communicate effectively:
- A weekly electronic bulletin, an electronic calendar and weekly briefings to reduce email traffic;
- An open culture, where staff feel able to speak about pressures and are empowered to deal positively with pressures and stressful issues.
Effective Leadership: we aim to empower staff:
- Senior Leadership are very visible at all times throughout the school day, supporting and empowering all staff to deal with any behaviour issues that may arise;
- All Senior Leadership offer an Open Door policy: staff are encouraged to come to SLT with concerns and ideas – nothing is ‘too small’ to mention.
Our School organisation supports wellbeing:
- Time given for duties that go ‘above and beyond’ – for example: for staff time given during Open Evening;
- Free tea and coffee facilities throughout the day;
- A comfortable staff-room for staff to relax and chat;
- Responding sensitively and flexibly to the external pressures that inevitably impact on staff lives, whilst ensuring the efficient running of the school as well;
- Maintaining contact with staff when they are ill, providing reassurance and support;
- Responding sensitively to requests for absence for attendance at funerals;
- Clinical supervision is provided to staff who work closely with our most vulnerable students;
- Recognising and celebrating staff contributions at the end of every term with staff prizes.