The Archer Academy has a well-established Wellbeing Committee, which works to create a professional and personal environment in which our staff can thrive.
As well as seeking regular, informal feedback from our staff, the committee also carries out a full annual survey covering areas of school life and developmental priorities, to gain insights into what’s working well and what could be improved. The survey includes sections on wellbeing, teaching workload management and support staff workload, and templated questions from Ofsted which we benchmark against previous years’ responses.
We also run smaller, issue-focused surveys across the year to get updates on the progress we are making, and hold an annual Staff Forum – a whole school meeting to discuss three to four specific areas of school life. And we demonstrate how we’re acting on the feedback we get through a ‘You said, we did’ structure.
Highlights from recent staff surveys
Our most recent full survey highlighted a number of areas of success, with over 80% of staff either agreeing or strongly agreeing that team comradery and support for each other, a clear understanding of the school’s expectations and impactful leadership are strengths of our school.
Other questions to which high percentages of staff agreed or strongly agreed include:
- Students are safe at this school: 98%
- Leaders do all they can to improve teaching: 94%
- I know what we are trying to achieve as a school: 96%
- I am proud to be a member of staff at this school: 93%
- Staff support each other well: 92%
- The school is well led and managed: 92%
- I am confident about the whole school expectations surrounding raising student achievement and can confidently apply a range of strategies: 86%
- Leaders use professional development to encourage, challenge and support staff improvement: 84%
- I am confident about the whole school expectations in relation to literacy and can confidently apply a range of strategies to ensure high levels of literacy in my classroom: 83%
- This school has a culture that encourages calm and orderly conduct and is aspirational for all students: 81%
- Teamwork and dialogue with colleagues within this school: 82%
- I feel well supported by my line manager and colleagues (support staff): 85%
We have also taken the opportunity to benchmark ourselves internationally against other schools, using questions from the TES to understand how we compare, and were delighted to note that we scored more highly than TES averages across all questions we used. Highlights included:
- 82% agreed that we have a supportive culture among the staff (TES results: 64%)
- 90% said they really enjoy working with their colleagues (TES results: 82%)
Additionally, a recent mini-wellbeing survey highlighted the following areas for celebration:
- 9% of staff agreed or strongly agreed they were empathetic to members of staff.
- 84% of staff agreed or strongly agreed they felt proud of our remote learning provision during the January 2021 school closures.
- 9% felt they agreed or strongly agreed they felt trusted as a professional. One comment noted that we are “A fantastic school community to be part of.”
Acting on our responses
It’s important that our staff feel listened to, but even more important that we act on what we’ve heard. So we use our staff surveys as tools for action, improvement and empowerment.
In our most recent full survey, areas that came through as requiring more in-depth analysis and further review with our staff body included work-life balance and timetabling. Senior leaders and the Wellbeing Committee have begun to explore these areas further with our staff, including organising a series of workload forums, a live two-week time in motion study, and a review of school practices and policies, specifically around marking and assessment.
Our SLT, HR team and Wellbeing Committee have also developed the following phased approach to further improve staff wellbeing:
- Phase one: Exploration. Further exploring the views of members to staff and school data/KPIs to help gain a better understanding (as insights are limited by the short and closed nature of the questions initially asked). This will also involve viewing the results of the questionnaires within staffing roles in order to identify possible themes and trends. This will be supported by wider reading and research.
- Phase two: Collaboration. Working with key stakeholders in the school to use the information gathered from phase one to help create an action plan. This may involve consultation with wider colleagues.
- Phase three: Action plan and policy. A clear action plan will be created with timelines identified and shared roles and responsibilities. This will be supported by the development of a Staff Wellbeing Policy.
- Phase four: Implementation. Implementing changes made from the action plan.
- Phase five: Impact. Reviewing the impact of the changes. This will initially take place through an interim survey and be further developed at our next full survey and through other, more informal feedback sessions.
A clear communication plan has been created to ensure all staff members are aware of any staff voice opportunities and to identify next steps, and outcomes. This includes weekly staff notices, weekly Wellbeing Wednesday emails, and physical displays in staff workrooms and staffrooms.