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Maximise wellbeing - Cultivating our healthy work environment at Brooke Weston Trust

Work-related stress is seen in many sectors, and education is no exception. Teachers and support staff face changing demands on their time both at work and at home. This can lead to feeling, on occasion, overwhelmed. As well as affecting personal wellbeing, the atmosphere and environment in which we work can become less positive than usual.

The good news is that school leaders and managers have the power to make a significant difference in proactive prevention and we can all take steps to address this. While legal obligations require us as an employer to address and mitigate the risks of stress; prioritising staff wellbeing goes beyond compliance at Brooke Weston Trust - it's woven into the fabric of our values.

The HSE "Talking Toolkit"

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) "Talking Toolkit" drives the focus on creating opportunities for meaningful conversations with all staff structured six key areas that have been identified as reducing the likelihood of work-related stress.

  • Demands: Are workloads realistic and manageable? Are deadlines achievable?
  • Control: Are staff empowered to influence their work methods? Can they leverage their skills effectively?
  • Support: Do staff feel valued and supported? Is there a robust network and adequate resources to assist them?
  • Relationships: Is the work environment positive, respectful, and inclusive? Are there clear avenues to address issues like bullying or harassment?
  • Role clarity: Do staff have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and performance expectations?
  • Change management: Are staff involved in change initiatives, and is there sufficient support during transitions?

We will be utilising this toolkit over the coming months for the benefit of our staff and to facilitate these great conversations alongside assisting with identifying potential signs of stress.

Some common indicators can include:

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue or sleep disturbances.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Increased irritability or mood fluctuations.
  • Withdrawal from social interactions.
  • Decreased motivation or job satisfaction.


Taking proactive steps for a healthier school environment

  • We have a framework for developing stress prevention plans.
  • We have a mental health support programme, promote work-life balance initiatives, and cultivate a culture of respect and appreciation in line with our values.
  • We continue to encourage collaboration, celebrate achievements, and empower our staff to contribute their unique talents and perspectives for the benefit of our students and colleagues.


By prioritising the wellbeing of staff, fostering open communication, embracing continuous improvement, and considering the broader school environment, school leaders across Brooke Weston Trust can continue to cultivate a healthier, supportive, and productive school environment where everyone can thrive.


If you have any questions or ideas about how we can further develop our support for our colleagues, please contact Tracy Marshall, People Business Partner ( who leads our ‘workload and wellbeing’ strategic workstream.



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