Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Elizabeth Sidwell CBE
‘Trailblazer’ can sometimes be a misapplied title, but it rings resoundingly true when describing Liz Sidwell.
More than 40 years into her education career, Liz remains dedicated to driving change in the education system on a local and national level.
Passionate, funny and driven, she has been a successful principal and CEO with more than 30 years’ experience of transforming state and independent schools in the UK and internationally.
She is also an experienced board member and trustee for a several schools and influential bodies. As National Schools’ Commissioner for England she was responsible for raising standards, tackling underperformance and championing the growth of academies, helping to forge today’s diverse education landscape.
Liz continues to apply her enormous experience and knowledge in education’s frontline, joining Beacon Multi-Academy Trust in 2015 as a trustee and taking over as chair in 2018 during a time of leadership change and financial deficit, steering the trust towards the strong academic and financial position it’s in today.
Widely recognised as a leading educationalist, Liz is a Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and was awarded the CBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to local and national education.
Judge Samantha Twistleton said: “Liz’s contribution to education over a lifetime is amazing. The sheer variety of high impact projects she has delivered, and the number of commitments, makes her so worthy of this award.”
Best Use of Technology
Eltham College, London
An initiative to make sure that staff members never again pronounce a child’s name wrong has had a profound impact on the Eltham College school community.
The Every Name Matters initiative was launched at the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year following a survey and pupil focus groups.
Steered by race, ethnicity and cultural heritage lead Gideon Hammond, the initiative was driven by a desire to ensure that every child felt noticed, important and valued. Pronouncing the children’s names accurately was seen as a crucial step that would help pupils and families feel a greater sense of belonging and trust and strengthen relationships.
The initiative used existing school IT – iSAMS, SharePoint and the ElthamPost mass parental contact system. The correct pronunciations of names of almost 300 students in the senior and junior schools were recorded and uploaded into the staff intranet for easy access by staff, while written phonetic pronunciations were made available on iSAMS for reference at registration time.
The project has been a success: students don’t have to correct staff as often, staff say that it has helped them to get to know their students better, while the initiative has attracted the attention of other schools.
Judge John Roberts said: “This initiative was relatively simple but genuinely innovative and brilliant for driving inclusivity and community in the school. It’s low cost, easy to integrate with school information systems and delivers huge impact – I’d recommend other schools to try this where they can!”
Teaching Assistant of the Year
In Wha Kim, Queen Katharine Academy, Peterborough
Queen Katharine Academy teaching assistant In Wha Kim goes above and beyond every single day.
She works predominantly with EAL and vulnerable students on their English fluency and literacy and has developed a Speedy Reading intervention to accelerate students’ reading fluency.
Of Korean heritage, In Wha has an immediate empathy with her students and uses her own experiences of speaking English as a second language to support the students in a caring and nurturing environment.
As well as her full-time teaching assistant role, In Wha runs and funds hugely popular weekly Korean Clubs, which are held at lunchtimes or after school. She teaches students the Korean language, shares her culture and traditions – including tutoring traditional Korean dance – and brings in home-cooked Korean delicacies for the students to sample. The over-subscribed clubs have inspired some students to plan to visit In Wha’s homeland and even aim to study and work in the country.
The Korean Clubs have attracted the attention of the Korean Embassy, with officials visiting the school after In Wha reached out to request support and funding that will eventually allow students to go on trips and sample the culture and traditions of the country.
Judge James Bowen said: “Here is a member of staff who is hugely valued by her pupils and is making a massive impact in her school. It’s great that her efforts have been recognised more widely too.”
Headteacher of the Year (State)
Delia Smith OBE, Ark Academy, London
Delia Smith OBE has served as a headteacher for almost 30 years and for the past 13 years has led Ark Academy in Wembley, north-west London.
Creating warm, safe and vibrant environments in which children thrive and reach their full potential – regardless of the social and economic challenges they and their community face – is at the centre of everything she does.
Delia’s tenacious focus on ensuring that every student has the best opportunity to succeed is neatly summed up by the motto displayed in the school’s atrium: ‘We will never have this opportunity again’.
Under her leadership Ark Academy had achieved impressive results with more than 80% of students achieving at least a grade 4 in English and maths, placing the school in the top fifth of schools nationally.
Delia emphasises active citizenship, encouraging students to lead campaigns on local issues and work to improve lives beyond the school.
And as school attendance has declined nationally, a strong school culture of compassion and kindness has driven attendance up to 95%, with Ofsted remarking that children ‘relish’ coming into school each day.
Delia’s colleagues obviously feel the same, repaying her commitment to talent development and strong collaborative leadership with loyalty; 11 of the founding staff are still at the school 13 years later.
Judge Julie Robinson said: “Delia stood out as someone of incredible talent and genuine values. She is an absolute heroine and an amazing woman.”
Headteacher of the Year (Independent)
Heather Hanbury, Lady Eleanor Holles School, London
In London’s extremely competitive independent school landscape, Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton remains over-subscribed – a position that owes much to the vision, integrity and drive of Head Mistress Heather Hanbury.
LEH’s extremely strong results – the girls’ school recorded its best ever A level and GCSE results last year and strengthened its place in the top 20 of UK independent schools – is a product of a happy, relaxed and self-confident culture encouraged by this well-respected headteacher.
As well as helping the school to achieve great success, Heather’s leadership has helped students to navigate the anxieties they felt following the murder of Sarah Everard and the emergence of the Everyone’s Invited movement.
Colleagues say it was thanks to a culture of trust, openness and sincerity – underpinned by a strong pastoral support system – that pupils were able to work through their responses to the complex social issues these incidents raised. They were also empowered to act, with sixth formers establishing a new peer mentoring programme that has now been expanded to include younger pupils.
The recent ISI report recognised Heather’s critical role in LEH’s success, offering fulsome praise of her leadership.
Heather is obviously held in high esteem by her peers; she was appointed President of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) in September 2022.
Judge Julie Robinson said: “Heather has been a tireless champion of girls’ education for many years. She’s also led the way in establishing quality independent and state partnership activity and her work in this area is rightly being honoured here.”
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Setting of the Year
Lime Tree Primary, Manchester
Children and their families are regarded as one by Lime Tree Primary’s EYFS provision.
The setting’s teachers and wellbeing team aim for outstanding outcomes for children and their families – a holistic approach which they proudly achieve.
They do this by delivering a well-resourced and stimulating early years curriculum and working closely with families to enable them to access help on a range of issues, including food bills, behaviour, mental and physical health, and financial difficulties.
Great efforts are made to ensure that parents feel closely involved. Regular ‘Leap into Lime Tree’ sessions ensure that families feel settled, while team members conduct home visits for all new starters. And information evenings inform families how to support their child’s learning at home.
Responsive and adaptive teaching strategies, including the use of emotion coaching and zones of regulation, encourage children to articulate their feelings and understand the importance of regulation. This helps the children feel more comfortable in their environment and leads to improved personal, social and emotional development.
It's a consistent and coordinated approach that’s getting real results; in an area where children come in well below age-related expectations, Lime Tree’s children leave the EYFS setting with above-national-average levels of development.
Judge Eunice Lumsden said: “This school stood out due to the very strong interdisciplinary approaches taken and the fantastic partnerships with families and communications across the school.”
Primary School of the Year
Peartree Spring Primary School, Stevenage
Staff at Peartree Spring Primary School think it’s a school like no other – and local families appear to agree.
The reputation of the three-form entry, 600-pupil school has built to a point where there are more than 250 applications for 90 reception places.
The school provides the very best encouragement and support for children and their families; there is a higher-than-average number of children in receipt of free school meals, SEND and Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) and the school sets high aspirations for all children.
High quality learning environments underline those high aspirations, featuring excellent displays, access to two libraries and classroom libraries.
Children have a wide range of opportunities for pupil leadership including the school council and eco team, and playground buddy and sports ambassador roles.
Staff, pupils and leaders worked together to identify learning values to support the needs of the children, including resilience, persistence, self-motivation and risk-taking. Teachers constantly refer to these values during lessons and whole-school assemblies, with the belief that instilling these values will help the children to be successful in every aspect of their lives, today and in the future.
Judge Alison Peacock said: “This school really demonstrated how both children and staff are encouraged to thrive. The work they’re doing around mental health and wellbeing throughout the school is impressive.”
Boarding School of the Year
Felsted School, Essex
The statistics speak volumes about Felsted School’s reputation.
In 2022 inquiries about the school’s 80 prep places topped 700 – a 40% increase over the past four years – with 10 enquiries for every available senior place.
The school’s focus on giving students an all-round education with the skills, confidence and determination to make a positive difference to the world around them is helping to drive that appetite from families.
Felsted’s academic programme embraces the latest thinking, approaches and technologies to give pupils a 21st century education, while a co-curricular programme encourages the personal attributes and characteristics that will enable each student to make an active contribution to society and find fulfilment in life.
That mixture of academic and extra-curricular excellence means that Felsted students fulfil the school’s mission by going on to make a difference in the wider world. Four Felstedians were included in Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 feature, while current students engage in a range of charity fundraising and volunteering for initiatives at home and abroad.
The school has a commitment to widen access, with a £3.37 million fee assistance fund benefiting more than a third of students, means-tested bursaries and hardship assistance, and free places for Ukrainian students.
Judge Gwen Byrom said “We were impressed by the way topics such as diversity and inclusion as well as sustainability were woven right through the school and not just stand-alone programmes or initiatives. The school is also bucking the trend with their incredible over-subscription for admissions: this is clearly a fantastic school that people want to send their children to.”
Specialist Provision School of the Year
Rowan Tree Primary School, Lancashire
Staff at Rowan Tree Primary School are spreading the word about the impact of restrictive diets on their learners.
Back in 2019 the school recognised from staff and parent feedback that a high proportion of their learners had a restrictive diet due to their additional needs, with pupils often eating just one or two types of food. This was having a negative impact on the children’s weight, mood, oral health and ability to enjoy family meals.
Senior leaders committed time to researching avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) before developing a training plan for staff and families and a Food Facts curriculum which included daily personalised sessions for every one of the school’s 117 learners.
Leaders know the Food Facts project is having a positive effect by monitoring each learner’s food intake and seeing the increase in the variety of foods and textures they try. This information is then used by staff to support the learners to further widen their diets.
Rowan Tree Primary is now providing training, resources and ongoing support to colleagues in mainstream schools across their local authority so that they too can support pupils with additional needs and ARFID.
Judge Vijita Patel said: “The evidence base presented by the school in their submission clearly demonstrated the impact of their work. The way the school has tackled the challenging topic of diet and worked with pupils, staff and families to make it work so well is extremely impressive.”
Independent Prep School of the Year
Eversfield Preparatory School, Solihull
Eversfield Preparatory School’s vision for education differs from many.
The school avoids claims to support a child to reach their full potential, aiming instead for all its pupils to achieve beyond any boundaries set by expectations – whatever their talents and ability.
Pupils certainly achieve at Eversfield, leaving with academic, music, arts and sports scholarships. Many pupils represent the county at sport, and are later offered professional contracts, while the school’s talented musicians gain places at conservatoires and the Royal Academy of Music.
Wellbeing and the development of the whole child are centre stage. Upper school pupils take a lead in managing their own welfare, participating in anti-bullying, peer mentoring, and mental health and wellbeing training programmes as part of The Diana Award, while a buddy system sees Reception children supported through their first year by a Form 6 pupil.
There’s an impressive co-curricular programme, with pupils from Reception to Year 6 taking part in more than 65 clubs and activities each week.
Eversfield’s commitment to pupil wellbeing and achievement is reflected in the professional development of staff. Every teacher carries out their own Chartered College of Teaching action research project and all are given the time or financial support to pursue further academic qualifications.
Judge Simon Larter-Evans said: "A number of schools feature their investment in CPD, often supporting Master’s programmes, but none of them feature teachers being supported on EdD programmes, which are significant in their demands. Non-selective Eversfield’s pragmatic focus on staff CPD appears to have been instrumental in helping the school thrive in many ways. Eversfield eschews the usual rhetoric and instead has created a whole community, staff and pupils, actively engaged in and supported with their own learning, with clear and unambiguous leadership. Powerful stuff.”
Independent Senior School of the Year
Caterham School, Surrey
There was a keen appetite for change at Caterham School in Surrey following the pandemic, with the wellbeing of all members of the school community identified as the key to future success.
Wellbeing initiatives go beyond one-off weeks and festivals and have become embedded in the daily experiences of students. Students have timetabled wellbeing lessons each week and a Voices for Change pupil group engages the whole school community in debate and action on inclusivity issues.
Staff have been upskilled to better support the wellbeing of pupils and themselves, while sixth form pupils have been trained as wellbeing ambassadors and to provide mental health first aid training.
The National Children’s Bureau’s Wellbeing Award audited the changes, commenting that emotional wellbeing and mental health had become ingrained in the school’s ethos and was naturally prioritised within the school.
A new curriculum focusing on problem solving, entrepreneurism, metacognition and digital skills – built with input from professional services businesses and the early career experiences of the school’s ‘next generation’ young alumni trustee board – has also helped to drive change.
Together these initiatives have been transformative: the proportion of students securing first-choice university places increased from 65% in 2018 to 85% in 2022, despite Covid pressure on offers, while grades improved across every area of the curriculum.
Judge Durell Barnes said: “This school have not only embedded their wellbeing initiatives throughout the school, they have also welcomed many organisations in to measure and evaluate their impact. They’ve listened to feedback and adjusted curriculums accordingly to make their offerings even stronger.”
Secondary School of the Year
The Totteridge Academy, London
The Totteridge Academy in north London has come a long way since 2016.
Back then just 39% of students achieved five good GCSE passes in English and maths and the school had the lowest progress score in the local authority.
With Principal Chris Fairbairn and much of the senior leadership team joining in September 2016 a transformation was set in motion. Fast forward to today and the contrast is startling.
The school now has the highest progress score in the local authority and is in the top 50 nationally for overall progress, putting it in the top 1.2% for GCSEs and the top 25% for A levels. It has also succeeded in bucking national trends in closing the GCSE Progress 8 gap for pupil premium students.
The roll has almost doubled to 910 and the sixth form, reopened in 2020, is thriving. The previously under-used seven-acre school site now includes a school farm, run with the charity GROW, growing produce for the school kitchen and hosting a range of curricular and extra-curricular activities.
It’s clear that The Totteridge Academy is a school in which children feel happy, included, excited to learn, valued for their individuality and efforts – and prepared for their futures.
Judge Christine Gilbert said: “The success of The Totteridge Academy’s transformational is both impressive and inspiring. This is now a school where students love learning and staff are passionate about teaching. They are right to feel proud of their many fantastic achievements and their ambition to do better still is remarkable. This award pays tribute to the strong, thriving and inclusive community at The Totteridge Academy which is achieving so much both within and beyond the school”.
Excellence in Creative Arts
Chiswick School, London
Chiswick School’s creative and performing arts department is a powerhouse with reach far beyond the classroom.
In the year 2021-22 the department produced more than 50 community arts projects, including 25 productions and concerts, working with professional artists, musicians and theatre companies across west London, including the Lyric Theatre.
With around 15% of the school participating in projects outside of curriculum time, the department welcomes participation in these activities from all students from any background. A fifth of students are eligible for pupil premium and there is an even split between genders as well as high participation from black and minority ethnic students, well above the school average.
The department’s art, dance, drama and music curriculum is offered through key stages 3, 4 and 5, with extremely good results at key stages 4 and 5. The department’s reputation is such that it’s one of the main reasons parent make the school their first choice. The wider Chiswick community feels the same, awarding the school a Chiswick Community Award earlier this year.
The department shies away from the traditional ‘one musical a year’ approach and instead produces an intentionally challenging programme that gives students a real learning experience, including Shakespeare, Greek, classical music and ballet.
Judge Lucy Cuthbertson said: “Chiswick has a broad offering across the arts, and all of them are great with everyone taking part. They are clearly doing something extraordinary. They go out of their way to stretch their students and not do the predictable”.
Community Engagement Initiative of the Year
Alva Academy, Clackmannanshire
“When I was first diagnosed, I felt so low and lost. The singing group has given me a new life and I have made good friends old and young.”
It’s clear from this quote and many others that Alva Academy’s Parkinson’s Singing Group has touched a lot of lives.
The group was launched five years ago by music teacher David Clifford following his own father’s Parkinson’s diagnosis. The aim was to bring pupils, staff and members of the community together in song, provide physical benefits for those living with the condition, raise awareness and funds, and build strong relationships.
Since then the weekly choir practice has involved more than 500 pupils and become a firm favourite at school and community events, including Remembrance and Christmas events and concerts jointly organised with Macmillan Cancer Support who have helped the academy to raise more than £500,000 for charity over the past few years.
Students get a buzz from volunteering and building friendships with choir members and have even been motivated to give up their own time to raise funds.
The success of the initiative led Parkinson’s UK to invite Alva Academy to deliver workshops at a national event, prompting an increase in participation in Parkinson’s singing groups and the setting up of new ones around the country.
Judge Tim Brighouse said: “As I read about this school, I wish I’d brought up my kids there! Alva Academy is a warm, welcoming and collaborative learning community, inclusive of all the young people in the area it serves. The staff and the pupils between them raise a small fortune each year for a plethora of charities, serve discreetly the poorest families and create a musical lifeline for those suffering from Parkinson’s. The school is the main non-corporate source of funding for Macmillan's. It holds a genuine and passionate commitment that the next generation of citizens fortunate enough to attend the school today will think for themselves and act for others.'
Central Team Leader of the Year
Natalie Hardman, Wellspring Academy Trust, South Yorkshire
Natalie Hardman has been a driving force behind Wellspring Academy Trust since its very beginning.
Aged just 29, Natalie is Chief Administration Officer and an established and respected member of the trust’s executive team. She has played a key role in Wellspring’s rapid growth by leading on 29 academy conversions and the creation of a new £6 million free school in Leeds.
Natalie’s responsibilities include business planning, governance, marketing and communications, business information and data, ensuring that standards are maintained across the trust’s schools. It’s a wide-ranging remit delivered with total commitment.
Natalie has also designed and implemented staff CPD initiatives, including the Wellspring Festival of Learning, a one-day event offering trust staff access to over 50 online CPD sessions.
The trajectory of Natalie’s career is even more impressive when you consider that she started her career as a 15-year-old apprentice in an education management setting and moved to the newly established Wellspring aged 21.
Recently awarded an Executive MBA with distinction, Natalie leads with heart and compassion, is generous with her time and knowledge, and displays superb business and strategic acumen. According to colleagues, she personifies the Wellspring mantra ‘We make a difference’.
Judge Caroline Wright said “What struck me was Natalie’s innovative nature in putting in ways to support teachers and staff. Not only has she developed an assessment framework across the trust, but she goes above and beyond with her dedication to CPD too.”
Inclusive School of the Year
Formby High School, Merseyside
‘Stand under my umbrella’ is the motto adopted by Formby High School this year.
The slogan neatly sums up the school’s passion for SEND inclusivity; it has been celebrating neurodiversity with a series of events involving students with and without SEND, including choral and dance performances and a Walk for autism in support of International Autism Week.
The school has been declared a flagship school for inclusivity by the local authority – a reputation that has been noticed by parents. The school’s Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) cohort has grown 400% in the last four years, with 5.2% of students in Years 7 to 11 with an EHCP – double the national average.
SEND students really excel at Formby High. The most academically vulnerable students participate in the school’s own Reaching High personalised curriculum, allowing students with severe dyslexia, dyscalculia and cognition difficulties to continue learning alongside their peers with all the specialist support they need to progress.
The school is now preparing to embark on an exciting new chapter with the opening of SEND Resource Base in partnership with Sefton Council. The base will provide high quality provision to 40 children from Year 7 to 11, improving their life chances, independence and readiness for the workplace.
Judge Margaret Mulholland said: “We were really impressed with how the curriculum isn’t separated and segregated within the school; it’s intertwined carefully throughout ensuring students continue to learn alongside their peers. Also, they’ve developed a brilliant life, living and employability element to their curriculum which really stood out.”
Primary Curriculum Leader of the Year
Sally Goodridge, Summerhill Primary Academy, Bristol
PE, sport and physical activity has a buzz about it at Summerhill Primary Academy.
That’s largely down to the leadership of Sally Goodridge, who has used her passion for sport to rejuvenate the PE curriculum.
Staff PE surveys had showed that teachers lacked confidence in delivering the PE curriculum. Sally took over leadership of the subject and immediately noticed that subject knowledge was lacking.
She created a bespoke CPD package for all staff and used Sport Premium funding to bring expert sports coaches into school to co-teach and mentor teachers in PE.
Sally’s enthusiasm for her subject is spreading throughout the school. She launched a Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds approach across PE, PSHE and Personal Development, including a new active uniforms policy so that children are ready for physical activity at any point during the school day. The policy has helped Summerhill get an Outstanding judgement from Ofsted for personal development.
Sally’s fresh approach to PE has seen participation in lunchtime and after school sports clubs expand markedly, with a big boost in the numbers of disadvantaged pupils taking part.
Now Sally is working on developing leadership outside the school and is sharing her expertise with PE leads across Summerhill’s parent trust.
Judge Amanda Wilson said: “This is an excellent example of how the impact is so much greater when something is truly threaded throughout a school. The way Sally has engaged the whole school community in these activities and evidenced their impact so well, is really impressive.”
Subject Lead of the Year (Secondary)
David Clifford, Alva Academy, Clackmannanshire
The power of music and the performing arts is felt throughout Alva Academy and the community it serves, thanks to David Clifford, Faculty Principal Teacher for Music, PE, Dance and Art.
The exceptional music results achieved by Alva students are just one part of the picture. At the same time as reinvigorating music education and increasing curriculum and extra-curriculum engagement in the subject, David has led an impressive range of charity and voluntary work that has captured the imaginations of pupils, staff and the local community.
As well as setting up an award-winning Parkinson’s singing group – raising thousands for Parkinson’s charities and forging ever stronger links between school and community – David created a classroom-to-care-home initiative in which more than 1,000 pupils shared their performing talents with over 100 care homes across the UK.
David also leads Alva’s support of Macmillan Cancer Support, working with staff and pupils to organise fundraising concerts, coffee mornings and other activities which over the past decade have raised enough money to cover every grant the charity awards in the local area.
Passionate about Remembrance, Alva singers and performers regularly participate in Remembrance events and David has encouraged the use of music in inter-disciplinary learning experiences, including Holocaust education.
Judge David James said: “David Clifford of Alva Academy is passionate about music, and the transformative effect it can have on everyone. David's inspirational work can be felt not just in the classroom where he teaches his students, but also in the local community where he has founded a choir for people with Parkinson's disease. His work is characterised by one simple idea: to bring people together so that they grow through the power of creative expression. This was a hugely impressive submission.”
Pupil Mental Health Initiative of the Year
Thornbury Primary School, Devon
Talking through the animals is just one way the wellbeing of children at Thornbury Primary School is supported.
Animal Aces is a scheme that is used in every classroom at the Plymouth school, with youngsters rewarded with points for using the skills and qualities of each animal.
It’s an approach that has helped the children develop an effective way of articulating, discussing and scaling their emotions more accurately.
New parents have noticed this, frequently stating the Animal Aces scheme together with the quality of Thornbury’s staff, as the overriding reason they chose the school.
Wellbeing is threaded through the school and is the first consideration in all decision making. It guides all interactions the staff have with the children, from morning routines and how admin staff greet parents on the phone, to the training of pupil leaders and staff.
There is a comprehensive programme of wellbeing and mental health initiatives, including regular mental health and wellbeing assessments for each child.
All this is underpinned by the school’s vision of supporting children to be their best selves, recognise their own unique strengths and characteristics, and be happy to be both the same – and different – to others.
Judge Tara Porter said: “This is a school where pupil mental health is central to the philosophy and is woven into everything they do and every possible interaction that occurs in and around the school. It’s extremely effective and admirable.”
School of the Year for Staff Wellbeing
Southwater Infant Academy, West Sussex
Southwater Infant Academy is, in the words of a recent inspection report, “a hive of happy activity”.
The school’s innovative approach to mental health and wellbeing is at the heart of that positive assessment.
The policy links the mental health and wellbeing of staff and pupils together in one unified approach. Wellbeing and mental health policies are no longer separate, with the needs of staff and children intrinsically linked within each policy statement. It’s a strategy driven by the belief that pupils cannot be nurtured without similar levels of support being offered to staff. 94% of staff say that their workplace is having a positive impact on their mental health.
Children, their families and staff are all entitled to support from a Family Link worker, and there is a clear emphasis on the need to support staff so that they can give their best for the children. Initiatives include an annual day out of school for staff to practice a new or existing hobby and a termly staff meeting dedicated to wellbeing and training so that staff can spot the signs of mental ill health in children and adults.
It's clear from a recent staff wellbeing survey that drastic improvements have happened in multiple areas, with the numbers suggesting that staff talk more, are more resilient, more optimistic and feel less stressed and anxious.
Judge Sinéad McBrearty said: “They’re doing a really good job of making the link between pupil wellbeing and staff wellbeing and evidencing how this impacts pupil outcomes. Pupil suspensions are down, attendance is up and the end-to-end job they’re doing is formidable.”