Over 700 Shaw Education Trust staff attended a wellbeing-themed activity day to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce stress levels.
While high workloads and stress continue to fuel the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, Trust staff were invited to combat issues by developing team work, learning self-care techniques and being recognised for their hard work.
Addressing employees, Jo Morgan, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “Today I want to celebrate your commitment and recognise our shared priority: our children.
“I hope today positively reflects our investment in you and our thanks and gratitude for all that you do for our trust.”
The first whole-trust event, hosted at Wolstanton High School on Monday, was aimed at reducing stress and promoting a healthy work life; emphasising the importance of staff taking time to consider their own needs.
This message was echoed by guest speaker Ashlee Carlile, from Prospects Education, who spoke to staff about maintaining positive wellbeing through teamwork.
The Resilience Development Manager explained: “Everybody needs someone. It is really important for people to build relationships to support them through stressful times.”
The day comprised of some more unusual techniques to relieve stress, including crystal healing, cake decorating and massage, while other workshops promoted team work through a range of energetic and harmonious activities, such as dancing, football and drum circles.
The importance of collaboration was clear as Mrs Morgan enthused: “We are all cogs in the great education machine, we may form different shapes, we may have different roles, but we must fit together harmoniously, providing the engine room and mechanics which enable our students’ success.”
Despite recent budget cuts within the sector, both locally and nationally, Shaw Education Trust successfully hosted a laughter-fuelled, skill based day at a fraction of the cost of an event usually that size. By utilising volunteers and personal connections, the trust were able to carry out a large scale event with the best interests of staff at heart.
This was evident during the first annual awards ceremony in the afternoon which saw staff from all 11 academy sites being recognised for their tremendous hard work and effort.
Staff were nominated by colleagues for awards in six categories which recognised their awesome work including; wellbeing, pupil premium, exceptional support, citizenship, and teaching and learning.
The sense of collaboration and feeling valued was apparent as Julie Yarwood, Director of Education Quality, Standards & Training, said: “Events like the Wellbeing Conference and Awards Ceremony create a sense of being part of something bigger than your own school, helping to develop communication between academies and, ultimately, further ensuring the best outcomes for all pupils.”
You can read more about the day in the Sentinel