Leicester District
National Education Union
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Stress

Andy Haynes, H&S Advisor
3rd September 2021

Employers have always been required to manage the stress that work causes their employees and reduce it as much as possible. Working in schools has always been stressful and the past eighteen months has only exacerbated the situation. Sadly, some schools seem determined to pour petrol on the flames with unreasonable demands of their staff.

All schools and settings should carry out stress surveys to identify the causes of stress. This will enable them to produce an action plan to manage and reduce stress. The LA has always recommended the use of the HSE stress survey although some schools have developed their own. The NEU has had its own stress survey for a number of years that school groups can use independently of management and some schools have used this instead of the HSE survey.

In addition to the standard survey it would be good practice for a school to include extra questions relating to stress caused by covid, or at least have an area for free responses so that staff can write their own concerns. All responses to the survey must be anonymous.

It must be emphasised that this is a stress survey and not a wellbeing survey although there may be a place for that in addition. Schools have a duty to reduce the causes of stress. Trying to reduce the effects that they have negligently caused by mindfulness sessions of any nature is not good enough.

 

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