In May 2021, the UK government launched the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter to support schools to promote the mental health and wellbeing of all educational staff working in state schools and colleges in England.

Laura Fordham is a Senior Trust Consultant at HEART Academies Trust. She oversees staff wellbeing, teaching and learning development in addition to English at Bedford Academy. She shares with us some of the training schemes and opportunities available to staff at Bedford Academy to improve staff wellbeing.

Teachers on a traning scheme that promotes teacher wellbeing

The importance of CPD for Staff Development

At Bedford Academy, we believe that good practice should be shared within high quality CPD spaces. We also encourage staff to take ownership of their own CPD and support all staff who wish to seek new opportunities. CPD is firmly embedded into our Performance Appraisal system and therefore all staff have opportunities to discuss professional development with their Line Manager. Our CPD offer, comes from pinpointing our School Improvement Plan priorities for development and also our vision to develop Teaching and Learning within the classroom, to ensure that each student is inspired to reach their potential. CPD is for all staff regardless of role and responsibility and always ensures wellbeing sits at the heart of the processes and structures. 

Teaching and Learning CPD and Quality Assurance 

All teaching staff will participate in calendared CPD sessions over the year.  All the sessions take place on training days and during whole staff after-school meetings. These sessions are linked to Teaching and Learning priorities and utilise resources from the WALKTHRUs by Tom Sherrington and Oliver Caviglioni. The sessions are engineered around: 

  • Scaffolding and Modelling  
  • Feedback 
  • Literacy 
  • Homework 
  • Questioning 

We’ve adapted Paul Bambrick’s 6 steps to effective feedback coaching feedback model to ensure praise always sits within lesson observations thus focusing on wellbeing. 

Shadowing Programme

At Bedford Academy we encourage staff to take ownership of their own progression. Shadowing has really helped with staff wellbeing and career satisfaction. With this in mind, we run a Shadowing Programme where staff can shadow another member of staff, in any role. Shadowing entails a member of staff spending time with and observing the work of another member in a department or role of interest, in order to gain valuable insight into the work and that field. The time period normally ranges between half a day and two days, and this should be agreed upon in advance between both parties- please factor in cover implications and try to shadow at intervals that limit cover.  

Coaching Programme 

A bespoke coaching programme has been introduced at Bedford Academy specifically to support with: mindset, wellbeing, personal growth and CPD. Our coaching programme offers 1:1 support with personal development at the heart of its focus. Each programme is tailored to the needs and desires of the individual. 

External school/ Trust Visits  

Staff are welcome to request to visit other schools within the Trust or in another school setting, to connect around subject interest or share educational interests. This could be in form of peer observations. 

Working Parties 

The working parties comprises staff members and representatives from all departments that hold a range of positions within the Academy. The committees will meet at least once per term. The wellbeing committees will evaluate the impact of any intervention. Working parties present an excellent opportunity for staff looking for the whole-school experience necessary for the next step in their career. 

The working parties are: 

  • Staff Wellbeing  
  • Safeguarding  
  • Digital Learning  
  • Diversity and Inclusion  
  • Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants Development  
  • Careers  

External sources 

A range of resources rooted in proven practice and research has been provided to support with staff Action Research projects from the following sources:  

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In May 2021, the UK government launched the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter to support schools in promoting the mental health and wellbeing of staff. Laura Fordham, is a Senior Trust Consultant at HEART Academies Trust where she oversees staff wellbeing and development. She shares some of the training schemes available to staff working at Bedford Academy to help them with their wellbeing and development.

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