Joe Mangan is a former school leader who has worked as a Headteacher for over 10 years, most recently for Maricourt Catholic High School. Joe now helps Schools across the North West realise the potential of a flexible workforce, as a Senior Business Development Manager for SupplyWell. Today he shares his insights on wellbeing culture in schools…
Since the pandemic, organisations have responded to support people who are struggling to re-establish calm and repair the disconnect and lack of routine that the lockdown forced upon us all. As the former headteacher of a large secondary school, Maricourt Catholic High School, I saw the impact the isolation and restrictions had on students, families, and colleagues. Our determination to help our community ‘reset’ to a normal way of life encouraged us to be creative in what we did internally and to engage with external agencies to provide additional layers of support where needed. Having an outstanding senior leader, Danielle Lawler, coordinating the work across the school was key. Her relentless determination to continue the open and honest discussions around mental health and wellbeing and provide the appropriate support where needed remains key to the successes achieved and led to the school being recognised with a national award for its work.
Establishing a positive wellbeing culture requires completing a number of steps. Identifying the needs of all individuals was the first task. Engaging everyone in conversations and questionnaires allowed us to identify and triage levels of need. Resources were then allocated quickly and appropriately. Gathering feedback became a vital part of our everyday practice as individual circumstances changed. We upskilled so we could identify markers for people in need and established teams of wellbeing champions and mental health first aiders across the school. An area on the school’s website was given to resources and links and we used social media to keep our community informed. Ongoing workshops helped develop resilience for all and wellbeing events were calendared in throughout the year.
Now I am working as a Senior Business Development Manager for SupplyWell, it was important to me that I joined a company that shared the same commitment to their colleagues, and am delighted to say our philosophies are very much aligned. The improvements were significant at Maricourt Catholic High School. The work continues, as it does across many organisations up and down the country. For it to have the impact you desire, it must become part of your culture and be led by people who are passionate about making a difference within your organisation.
If you would like to discuss how your school could benefit from a flexible workforce, contact me directly by emailing [email protected] or giving us a call on 0333 305 0601.