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Ask Andy – Blog 26

Why an SAS policy is a must for schools now and in the future.

All the school leaders I talk to say that the last two years have been the most challenging they have experienced, and they are worried about their own and their staff wellbeing both now and in the future.

This is backed up by the NAHT’s own survey which shows that the top three words used by school leaders about the last year are; challenging, exhausting and stressful.

Education Support Partnership through the Teacher Wellbeing Index cite 54% of teachers are considering leaving teaching due to the pressures on their mental health and ¾ of teachers described themselves as stressed, but the good news is that SAS can help.

As a school leader, when considering how you are going to support your staff and pupils’ wellbeing it makes far more sense financially to combine the absence insurance you need with the wellbeing that you want. One policy covering two bases and peace of mind knowing that if you suffer unforeseen absences, your budget is protected whilst drawing down the complementary wellbeing services that come with the policy.

Knowing that you have access to physiotherapy, counselling, nurse support, mindfulness, and a range of experts to support the development of wellbeing at your school or trust, means that not only are staff supported now, but their wellbeing can also be planned for in the years ahead. This caters for their wellbeing needs now and supports their thriving in the years to come.

“60% of staff actively remained in work while accessing our comprehensive health and wellbeing services.”

The aim is to have staff who are supported, thriving, and fulfilled so that they can be the very best version of themselves in a personal and professional sense. Thriving and fulfilled teachers teach better and achieve better outcomes so a wellbeing focused school, supported by SAS, is well placed to be successful and effective in meeting the needs of learners.

Not only are our SAS wellbeing services supportive to schools in helping to keep staff fit, healthy and productive, but senior leaders can draw on the support offered by a range of experts in the SAS team who will help to build a wellbeing focused school. From the governors and senior leaders at a strategic level, to the day-to-day wellbeing behaviours which support and underpin a wellbeing focused school community, we can help. What does it cost? SAS clients receive all of these services as part of their absence insurance cover.

“74.5% of all people accessing physio with SAS would have been likely to experience absence without intervention”

If you’re part of a trust, then what better way to epitomise your ethos than with a trust-wide wellbeing approach that is embedded across all schools in as “the way we do things here.” The benefit of the expert services we offer is that we can support you in creating a wellbeing ethos that is unique to your trust.

In my experience across more than 20 years of school leadership, one of the main concerns from schools thinking of joining a MAT is how the wellbeing of staff and pupils will improve once the school has converted. What better selling point to potential new academies joining the trust, than to show them that the trust is wellbeing centred and wants to support the staff to be the best version of themselves both personally and professionally.

“In 2019/20 SAS spent over £4million on wellbeing services. No other staff absence insurance provider invests as much in wellbeing as SAS.”

For those schools who already have staff absence insurance (SAI) in place this year or source it from within, SAS have developed SAS Be Well Support which provides wellbeing services without the staff absence insurance.

SAS Be Well Support is available to you in three different ways:

Essential

You can buy entry level wellbeing support from our Essential package which comes in at £10 per staff member. I would always recommend all staff having cover so that all staff feel valued by the school. This entry level support gives you access to; bereavement support, menopause support, cancer and chronic illness support, confidential physical and mental health telephone support, Manspace (men’s mental health support), Maternity Mondays webinars, Feeling Good app, free access to the relaxation room and SAS gym, work related stress support and a wellbeing call with me to discuss creating a whole school wellbeing culture. It also includes Pupil Wellbeing services; pupil yoga videos, Be A Champion Programme and SEND Pupil Support.

Premium

The Premium package is supplemental to Essential, so you receive the entry level support as well as further mental health support from Be Mindful and Counselling and full physical health support including physiotherapy, a 24/7 GP helpline, and a weight management programme in partnership with Slimming World. You can also access the Wellbeing Governor E-module from Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools.

Bespoke

We can build a bespoke wellbeing package for your school or academy from our full menu of wellbeing support. Just get in touch to discuss your requirements.

There is an answer for every school and every budget depending upon your situation.

The most cost-effective solution is purchasing absence insurance with complementary wellbeing on a 2 for 1 basis; purchasing two separate services is always likely to work out slightly more expensive so why not buy your absence insurance with us and get the benefit of wellbeing services included.

If ever there was a time to invest in your staff wellbeing it is now and who better to work with, than the market leaders in this space!

If you’d like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Ask Andy

If you have questions about wellbeing practice, would like to suggest future content for Andy's blogs or if you are having success with wellbeing culture in your school and would like to share your story, please complete the form below.