The current challenge facing schools
One of the greatest challenges currently facing schools is the high level of stress, anxiety, depression and exhaustion experienced among school students and staff.
This has had a devastating impact on school communities, affecting mental and physical health, job-satisfaction, enjoyment of school, academic results, mood, relationships, quality of life and general well-being. Increased pressure and higher expectations are mostly to blame. This is largely due to human evolution and the fact that students, parents and staff want to achieve more than ever before.
The simple solution is to reduce pressure and expectations, and to some extent this needs to happen. However, this is not feasible for schools that need to maintain optimal results to survive. Furthermore, schools are reluctant to interfere with an individual’s desire to aim high or excel.
Many students and staff want support, but shy away from it due to stigma, shame, working long hours, not having free time and/or not wanting to miss work/class. Even when pupils and staff seek help, support services are often oversubscribed or limited.
Most parents want their children to do well, but not at the cost of their mental health or well-being. As a result, pastoral care is becoming a significant factor for parents when they select a school.
Schools are starting to set aside budgets to boost Enrichment and PSHE initiatives as a way of attracting prospective pupils and parents. This is especially the case in the independent sector, where families expect a demonstrable return for their financial investment. However, budgets are extremely limited, especially in the state sector, and schools are struggling to know how to best spend their money.
How the SPWA can help?
The School Performance and Well-being Alliance (SPWA) is a community interest company, set up in 2016. Its primary mission is to be the leading industry organisation that champions independent and state schools to respond to the high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and exhaustion currently experienced in school communities.
At the heart of this response is educating and training pupils, staff and parents on key life skills and tools to foster happier, healthier, stronger and more successful school communities. The first step that the SPWA has taken to execute its mission is the development of a next generation pastoral model to help boost performance, mental health and well-being in school communities
This model has four components and can be adopted partly or fully (see below).
The Other Subject
A ground-breaking and transformative personal development program and one-to-one coaching service for pupils.
Free School Advisory Service
Free advice on how to improve your school’s performance, mental health and wellbeing strategy.