Text that reads 'Thank you teacher' surrounded by christmas items
As the year comes to a close and schools prepare for the Christmas holidays, a heartfelt thank you to school staff is in order. Their dedication, particularly during these challenging times, deserves recognition. 
The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of school staff has been substantial, as highlighted by a survey conducted by the Teachers' Union. With alarming figures indicating that 91% of teachers report adverse effects on their mental health and 90% experiencing increased workplace stress, it is evident that urgent measures are required to address the mental fitness of those shaping the future of our children. 
To find out more about the results of this survey, head here to learn more. 
Government initiatives, such as the voluntary charter released by the Department of Education, aim to address these concerns.  
However, the survey indicates that 8 in 10 teachers do not believe current policies adequately support schools in caring for their staff, and 98% state that the OFSTED inspection system overlooks staff wellbeing.  
Especially with the current Cost of Living Crisis and ongoing pressures, the need for a tailored solution is apparent, and this is where Strive, a bespoke mental fitness solution, comes in. 
teacher looking stressed
It's disheartening to learn that two-thirds of teachers believe their schools lack measures to monitor stress and burnout, with three-quarters feeling that mental health is not promoted in the workplace. By signing up to Strive, education providers can signal their commitment to addressing these issues actively. The Education Staff Wellbeing Charter, released by the government in November 2021, outlines specific commitments from the Department for Education, OFSTED, and education providers themselves. 
The Charter includes commitments such as integrating wellbeing into workload policies, breaking down stigma around mental health, and prioritising staff mental health. By signing up, education providers commit to supporting their staff's wellbeing, providing tools for managers, encouraging clear communication, and creating a culture that champions flexible working. 
In addition to policy changes, it's crucial for schools to implement tangible solutions that directly impact the mental fitness of their staff. Strive's Corporate Solution offers schools access to a diverse library of resources, interactive activities, video content, webinars, and 1:1 support sessions, providing a holistic approach to mental fitness. 
Amidst these efforts, it's important to recognise that OFSTED can conduct random inspections, now considering staff wellbeing as a part of their assessment. Prioritising staff mental fitness is not only a moral obligation but can also contribute to a school or nursery's outstanding rating. 
Supporting our educators in their mental fitness is not just a holiday gift but an ongoing commitment to promoting a healthy and thriving educational environment. It’s time the education sector looked into implementing a comprehensive mental fitness solution. 
Ofsted outstanding provider badge
As we reflect on 2023, let's collectively embrace a proactive approach to mental fitness. Encouraging open communication and expressing gratitude to school staff can help to contribute to creating a supportive and nurturing educational community. 
To delve deeper into mental fitness, consider tuning into our new podcast, 'The Busy Person's Guide to Mental Fitness,' available on Spotify. 
Thank you to all school staff for your dedication and hard work. Wishing you a restful and rejuvenating holiday season. 
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