Our employees are our greatest asset. Creating a supportive environment where our staff feel valued and are able to flourish underpins all that we do as an organisation. It is our role, as an employer, to provide a comprehensive range of services for all our staff to access to support them and their wellbeing.
It is clear that workplace practices can impact on staff mental wellbeing. We spend a large proportion of our lives at work and unless the working environment is good and workload is managed, work related stress and poor workplace practices can significantly impact on our health and state of mind.
The World Health Organisation defines good mental health as:
“A state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community.”
By ensuring that staff are supported with their own wellbeing, they in turn will be better equipped to carry out their roles to support our young people and ensure that all of our schools are safe and inclusive places where those in need receive the best support.
Leigh Trust’s vison and values state that we are the TEAM that CARES: our commitment to all the staff in our family of schools is that the health and welfare of our workforce is at the heart of the working arrangements of the Trust.
We fully believe that every individual has the right to:
Promoting health and well-being is key to our recruitment and retention strategy across the MAT and is an integral part of our drive to improve outcomes for all of our children.
A key priority in the Trust strategic plan is about establishing the Trust as an employer of choice. Staff wellbeing is a central driver of achieving this strategy and in order for us to get our wellbeing offer right, we are working with representatives from across the Trust to draw up a wellbeing strategy and offer.
The Staff Forum and Staff Wellbeing Group, drawn up from volunteers across our schools, meet regularly to provide feedback and make suggestions to consolidate and develop the wellbeing offer in the Trust.
The Trust is fully signed up to the Department for Education’s (DFE) .
We use the charter to:
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
We recognise that all employees may need additional support and guidance, not only whilst they are working, but also sometimes in their personal lives. Therefore, we are pleased to be able to inform you about our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
Health Assured is our EAP provider and is available to all school and central staff. The services include a 24-hour helpline to support you through any of life’s issues or problems, counselling, financial advice and well-being support.
Health Assured provide compassionate care and support to over ten million lives across 50,000 organisations. They provide medical advice Monday to Friday with 6 structured counselling sessions per issue for employees, partners and dependents; face to face counselling sessions with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT); an online portal and E Hub mobile app; and 4 weekly programmes, videos, resources and webinars.
Click here for more information about the Employee Assist Programme. employee-assistance-programme
Leigh Trust’s central team and each of our schools have at least 2 dedicated wellbeing champions (1 support staff representative and 1 teaching representative) who focus on improving the wellbeing of their fellow colleagues & to help drive employee engagement.
The purpose of the champion role is to help implement and support wellbeing and staff engagement through raising awareness of wellbeing activities, promoting healthy lifestyles and positive mental health.
Many are accredited Mental Health First Aiders so that they can support colleagues with mental health issues and signpost to useful resources. They also meet regularly at school and central team level to consider staff feedback, to organise events and to help make Leigh Trust a great place to work.
All employees have access to a suite of wellbeing guidance via our wellbeing portal on the BGFL 365 portal “Leigh Trust Sharepoint”.
Click here to access Leigh Trust Sharepoint: https://bgfl.sharepoint.com/sites/LeighTrust/Staff/SitePages/Home.aspx
We want all staff to help embed a culture of openness where colleagues can talk freely and openly about issues affecting their mental health.
To that end leaders are encouraged to hold regular wellbeing check-ins using our recommended pro-forma with staff and our wellness action plan pro-forma is available for all staff so that they can identify strategies to support their own wellbeing at work, and continue to bring their best selves to work.