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Safer Schools Bulletin January 2020

South Tyneside Council Health and Safety Manual updates

  • 3.10 New and Expectant Mothers
  • 3.13 Managing Stress at Work
  • 3.19 Contractor Compliance
  • Appendix E DSE Assessment
  • Appendix F New and expectant mother assessment

Please see the updated Health and Safety Manual 2019 which links into your school's Health and Safety Policy - where applicable these updates should be relayed to your staff.

Ofsted and wellbeing

With the changes implemented in September 2019 regarding inspections, Ofsted are committed to tackling teacher workload, looking unfavourably on schools that use "burdensome data collection".

"leaders engage with their staff and are aware and take account of the main pressures on them. They are realistic and constructive in the way they manage staff including their workload" (Education inspection framework 2019)

Additionally, the criteria for outstanding leadership also include the statement: "Staff consistently report high levels of support for well-being issues".

Furthermore, Ofsted carried out research looking into teacher well-being at work in schools and further education providers who found the following:

  • Workload is high, affecting work-life balance
  • Staff perceive lack of resources as a problem that stops them from doing their job as well as they can
  • Poor behaviour is a considerable source of low occupational well-being, and teachers do not always feel supported by senior leaders and parents with managing it
  • Relationships with parents can be a negative factor and a source of stress
  • Educators told us that they do not have enough influence over policy, which changes too quickly
  • Educators also feel that Ofsted inspections are a source of stress
  • Staff need more support from their line managers

Conclusion 

The health and wellbeing of our employees is crucial in providing an outstanding education to our children and making our schools, workplaces and South Tyneside an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.

In order to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the requirements in the Education Inspection Framework it is crucial that Leaders and Governors follow the recommendations below.

Recommendations

It is recommended that Leaders and Governors:

  • Fully support teachers to implement behaviour policies consistently and ensure that the overall school culture helps to optimise pupils' behaviour.
  • To reduce teachers' workload leaders should familiarise themselves with the Department for Education (DfE)'s guidance to reduce workload in the areas of marking, administrative tasks and lesson planning.
  • Ensure that parents are informed about the most appropriate ways of raising concerns and that they have appropriate mechanisms to respond to parents.
  • Develop staff well-being by creating a positive and friendly working environment in which staff feel supported, valued and listened to and have an appropriate level of autonomy.
  • Familiarise yourselves and your staff with the new education inspection framework (EIF) to avoid unnecessary workload.
  • Review the schools current Wellbeing Policy.

Help and feedback

If you have any questions about the issues raised or if we can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact the Health and Safety Team.

We also welcome your feedback on this bulletin and any key topics you would like to see in the next edition.

Tel: 0191 424 6186

Email: Stephen.Bell@southtyneside.gov.uk

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