Daniella Lang is the Headteacher at Brimsdown Primary School in Enfield, in this series of 8 posts she will be sharing her insights on how to support the school community remotely.
Coronavirus has changed life as we know it but there are ways for us all to cope with what is going on around us and support our staff teams too. What we are facing as a result of the pandemic is unprecedented in many ways, including the amount of uncertainty we’re all facing, especially with new announcements due by the government about the easing of lockdown. Uncertainty is particularly difficult to deal with because it often triggers fear. Now is the perfect time to review the culture of your school and implement changes for the future. It is essential leaders define that culture and vision, making it clear what behaviours, values, and beliefs underpin it and model those values now to all.
Firstly, it is important for school leaders to understand their community so they can best support it. In regard to staff, this is creating a culture of trust where staff can be open about their health and wellbeing. Understanding different members of staffs’ health risks and anxieties will make you more likely to reduce these and have a staff team that can fully support the children. So, enabling staff to share their views and feedback through meetings, discussions, and surveys is a good idea. This will promote a culture of empowerment, inclusion and ensure staff feel valued. Then you can openly talk about any issues and this can help to change any negative attitudes over time by eliminating barriers and facilitating different support networks. Finally, you can signpost to relevant support if needed.