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Leadership & Governance of Wellbeing

School Governors and Wellbeing

In collating these resources for governors and boards, I am acutely aware of the pressure that schools are under in the midst of a pandemic and would suggest that they are used with the utmost sensitivity. In many ways they are tools until the pandemic is over, that are here to support governor understanding rather than direct action for the board now.

In the next few months it is our intention to create a training resource aimed at supporting governors and boards to fully understand the concept of wellbeing as it pertains to schools, as there are so many interpretations of wellbeing.

Leeds Beckett University provide a course called “Being a governance lead for mental health and wellbeing” and you can access it free of charge if you have an absence insurance policy with Schools Advisory Service.

Creating and assigning link governor roles to individual members of a governing board is an effective way to ensure governance remains strategic and focussed on key issues. The development of a Mental Health and Wellbeing role demonstrates the governing / trust boards commitment to supporting Mental Health for both staff and pupils and the wider community. The creation of the role also emphasises the importance of establishing robust Mental Health provision in schools, providing equal opportunities and how governors or the governing board can be a ‘system thinker’ and influence change.

This module supports the lead governor to deepen their knowledge and understanding along with using an audit tool to look at where the governing board is currently at. 

Governors will also attend a facilitated workshop, receive templates to support action planning and have access to a private online forum to share good practice with other Mental Health and Wellbeing Leads.

You can access the training here: https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/courses/cpd-courses/governance-lead-for-mental-health-and-wellbeing/

National Governance Association

The NGA provide a wealth of information on pupil mental health and wellbeing which covers government policy, statutory and non statutory guidance

https://www.nga.org.uk/Knowledge-Centre/Pupil-success-and-wellbeing/Pupil-wellbeing.aspx

They also have discrete resources available on bereavement, considering pupil emotional wellbeing, promoting positive mental health and case studies about how schools are tackling mental health and wellbeing.

https://www.nga.org.uk/Knowledge-Centre/Pupil-success-and-wellbeing/Pupil-wellbeing/Mental-health.aspx

Sometimes the conversation between the head or CEO and the chair is a tricky one but working with NGA, SAS have created a tool which acts as a conversation starter for whole school wellbeing and critically the wellbeing of the head or CEO. Quite often the head or CEO is forgotten amidst then ensuring that other staff are having their wellbeing needs met but this new tool, equips the chair and head/CEO with a resource which is not designed to hold anyone to account but to facilitate a developmental conversation which the board need to have.

https://www.nga.org.uk/News/NGA-News/October-2020-(1)/New-staff-wellbeing-evaluation-tool-for-governing.aspx

Governors for Schools

GFS also have a wealth of materials to support governors in ensuring wellbeing of staff and pupils is paramount.

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/wellbeing-governors/school-staff-wellbeing/

Each term GFS have a specific wellbeing theme and for Spring term 2021 they are focusing on staff wellbeing.

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/news/governors-for-schools-launches-term-2-of-wellbeing-governors-focusing-on-school-staff-mental-health-and-wellbeing/

GFS have also produced a wellbeing video for governors and you can view this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lLYrglcTrQ&feature=youtu.be

Governors for schools have a model role description for a link governor for wellbeing.

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/app/uploads/2020/10/Wellbeing-link-governor-PDF.pdf

If, as a governor, you would like to review your school’s response to mental health and wellbeing with a specific focus on Covid19 there is a self-assessment tool here.

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/app/uploads/2020/09/Governor-Resources-Interactive-.pdf

There are a number of questions that governors can ask around wellbeing to try to understand how the school responds to this agenda. Please again be careful how these are used during the pandemic as school leaders need support with the wellbeing agenda and their own wellbeing.

Questions to ask around the return to school post Covid19 lockdown.

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/app/uploads/2020/09/Questions-for-Governors-covid.pdf

How will the return to school affect children and young people’s mental health and how can governors support this?

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/app/uploads/2020/09/Questions-for-Governors-mental-health-and-wellbeing.pdf

Questions for school governors to consider when developing and maintaining a mentally healthy school (with Place2Be)

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/questions-for-school-governors-mentally-healthy-schools/

Blogs

For further reading there are a number of blogs for governors which will help to fully understand wellbeing in schools.

What do wellbeing governors do and what experience do you need?

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/news/what-do-wellbeing-governors-do-and-what-experience-do-you-need/

How will the return to school affect children and young people’s mental health and how can governors support this?

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/news/how-will-the-return-to-school-affect-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-how-can-governors-support-this/

How can governors help protect LGBT pupils’ mental health and wellbeing? (guest blog from Stonewall)

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/news/stonewall-lgbt-pupils-mental-health-wellbeing/

Why do schools need a wellbeing governor and how can you become one?

https://governorsforschools.org.uk/news/why-do-schools-need-a-wellbeing-governor-and-how-do-you-become-one/

Videos

This is a lovely 8 minute video where a headteacher describes how the school worked with governors to develop mental health and wellbeing both within the school and in the wider community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV-QLHka9-s&feature=youtu.be