Workload is cited as the main reason for educators leaving the profession and is therefore central to our broader strategy in caring for, and retaining staff, it also has a strong link to School Improvement as by reviewing practice to identify areas which have become overly burdensome, and then acting on this, our teaching and learning and our educational environment will continue to improve.
We champion wellbeing for all and formed a school wide Committee to take this forward and bring about change. The Committee has a strong membership, is respected and very well received.
Research sets out that attrition in the Education Sector is around 10%, colleagues leave our schools not because of pupil behaviour or salary, rather Inspection worry and unrealistic workloads. To that end we asked ourselves ‘What time can we give back?’ Whilst everyone is appreciative of the Staff Drink Station, The Honesty Shop and Breakfast Buttie Friday, what really came out on top through ‘Staff Voice’ was hours and minutes. So, we set out to give the simple gift of time.
To date we have removed one weekly staff briefing and reviewed our calendar of meetings and events in great detail, reducing what is un-necessary and allowing clear space between events. Our meetings have a clear agenda and our target length is 45-60 mins MAX.
Email protocol has been reviewed in full. We do not send whole school emails unless there is a true requirement to do so. We do not promote the use of cc, or bcc, the latter is actively discouraged. We believe that work starts and work ends, and do not feel that technology should tether us to the workplace. Emails should not be sent between the hours of 7pm and 7am, personal and family time, we feel, should be just that. We have a weekly Staff Bulletin which is a round-up of school wide news, all colleagues are encouraged to use this, along with sitting down in the Staff Room, calling in on folk (and not emailing), as well as going home early, at least one day a week. We are currently consulting on closing our whole school site every Friday at 4.00pm. Some of us, need that little bit of forced encouragement!