Health & Wellbeing
Reduction in workplace stress and workload
We are extremely proud that the majority of staff leaving SMART now go on to promoted posts or retirement and very few leave their job because of stress related concerns. Key to this achievement has been the appointment of a Trustee to hold us to account; research into the key causes of stress and workload and debate around our ‘Talent management strategy’.
The number one source of stress in UK workplaces is relationships with colleagues, and so we have built firm guidance on excellent practice into our leadership ladders and ensure we follow up any occasions when personal comments have been used in professional work.
The second is the need for ‘Psychological Safety’ at work which we have established through a ‘no blame’ culture throughout the organisation.
The third is the need for all staff to feel confident that no change will happen to their working practice before they have been consulted about it.
The fourth is ensuring everyone has someone they can share their professional development and goals with and feel self-efficacy over their lifelong learning. We aim to achieve this through our appraisal system and STAR projects.
In addition to creating the best professional working environment possible we also look at which schemes we are able to introduce that can further enhance physical wellbeing. These are listed below under the heading of “Information for SMART employees’
Information for SMART employees
Bike to Work Scheme:
SMART operates a cycle to work scheme which enables employees to buy a bike via a salary sacrifice scheme. However, in order to qualify for the scheme the bike’s main use should be for commuting to and from work. Unfortunately, if it is not used for this purpose then it would qualify as a taxable benefit to the employee. Please note, the maximum available on the scheme is £1,000 for up to a maximum of 36 months and the bike will remain the property of SMART until it is fully paid. The employee will be responsible for insuring the bike, and if at any time during the term of payment the employee leaves employment with SMART, then the outstanding sum must be paid in full.
Further information is available at www.bike2workscheme.co.uk. If you would like to register, the login details for SMART are: B2W/2409.
Discounted membership with Better Leisure:
Employees can get discounted membership at any of Better Leisure’s 13 Leisure Centres across Cornwall. To join, staff should go along to their preferred centre, taking their School (or SMART) photo ID badge and ask for Corporate Membership. Better Leisure have told us that everyone will be enrolled under their ‘Teacher’ category, but please note you do not need to be a member of the teaching staff for this purpose.
Existing members can request a switch from their Individual to Corporate membership by enquiring at the Leisure Centre reception desk.
If anyone experiences difficulties with these arrangements please contact Chloe Callard in SMART CBU at Liskeard, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confidential Counselling Service:
Employees and their family members are entitled to a free, 24-hour, confidential telephone counselling service provided via SMART’s insurers. There is no need to contact anyone within SMART; just phone 0117 934 2121.
There is also an online tool for staff to use for mental health as some find conversations difficult but typing much easier. The site is called Quell. https://www.qwell.io/
It can be accessed online, or a booked drop-in. It is good for people who do not want to talk to a person, but needs help or advice.
Do check at your school if there are local Health Champions or other welfare groups that can offer support by facilitating getting to know other staff through social activities, sports or projects, by providing moral support or by suggesting help with individual difficulties.
If you would like to spend at least a half-term or at most a year working in another school in SMART as part of a ‘Secondment swap’ with a colleague from that school please let your Headteacher know. It may take us a number of years before such opportunities on both sides can be achieved, but we are very keen to accept proposals from any staff who would be interested, so we can consider them at MSLT.
Such proposals must come directly from you and are for CPD purposes only so if either of the staff involved in the ‘swap’ find that the arrangement isn’t benefiting their CPD they can stop the arrangement and return to their post.
Before making a purchase do check on the website below to see if you can obtain a discount: