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Staff Charter

Staff Charter

Our commitment to colleagues

We recognise that happy, motivated and well-supported colleagues can make a huge difference to the achievements of young people. We have high expectations of colleagues in delivering high quality education for pupils and are committed to creating an environment where staff in our schools have opportunities, feel supported, developed and appreciated.

For every colleague who works in our schools, we are committed to:  

  • support for personal, as well as professional, welfare and well being
  • focused workload management activity which supports a proper work-life balance for everybody
  • the best professional development and recognition for all our employees

A GMLT Staff Welfare Forum, made up of a representative from each school, meets with the Executive Headteacher each term to review matters which relate the above areas.

In each school there is a designated Senior Leader link for staff welfare and well being. They meet termly with a group of school staff to discuss how the school supports their welfare and feed back to the school’s leadership team and the GMLT Staff Welfare Forum.

To support the Charter in each of our schools there are regular, anonymous surveys and other informal activities which will help schools and the Trust to gather the views of colleagues.

Trust leaders meet each term with the Joint Consultation and Negotiation Committee (JCNC*), local Trade Union Officials who work with us to achieve fairness and equality in the treatment of, and our support for, our colleagues. The Charter and its content are an integral part of discussions.

Each of the areas below outlines our commitment to colleagues to help them make the difference for pupils, love what they do and to have time to do what they love.

Managing Workload

We expect all staff to work effectively at what they do, to get the best from every pupil.

In return we are committed to:

  • A focus on only a small number of any new whole school initiatives with clear communication of what these are and why we are doing them.
  • Research-driven strategies for improvement which we know can work, not short-term, poorly-planned initiatives.
  • Ensuring that workload management is a key consideration in the development/delivery of new initiatives and response to national directives.

Initiatives should become well-established before new ones are introduced. 

Policies: A specific focus on workload reduction in our policies on areas such as appraisal, assessment, marking and homework. These policies will be subject to calendared review and will be discussed and agreed with the JCNC.

Assessment and data: No more than 3 assessment windows in one academic year, the timings of which are considered against the whole school calendar and linked to other commitments for colleagues.

Data will be used for multiple purposes and there is no expectation that additional, individual, data sets should be generated by colleagues, for example in gathering evidence for appraisal or during any school quality assurance activity.

Calendar: Will be published for all events in advance of the start of the academic year with:

  • An opportunity for key staff in schools to review the calendar in a timely manner prior to agreement/publication
  • At least one week per half term designated a No Meeting Week. No Directed Time events will fall in this week.
  • A calendared Wellbeing Activity Week for all staff
  • No more than one evening (directed time) event in any week.

Meetings – for staff not receiving leadership allowances there will be no more than one meeting per week, of no more than 1 hour duration, with a clear agenda, shared in advance.

An annual directed time analysis will ensure reasonable expectations of working hours for colleagues.

Staff Welfare

We want our colleagues to attend work regularly, in the best frame of mind to perform to the best of their ability.

To support this aim we are committed to:

  • Return to work documentation which enables colleagues to ensure a proper dialogue around factors affecting their health and any support they need.
  • Free access to 24-hour confidential support line (Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme) for a wide range of personal or professional matters
  • Access to counselling provision for employees in every school
  • Directory of Wider Support: A regular review of our staff profile to inform a directory of support to access advice in relation to personal or professional circumstances (for instance new parents, financial advice for new teachers, teachers moving beyond 50)
  • Staff Mental Health Champions as a point of contact and advice in every school
  • Peer Coaches in every school

 Wellbeing and Work-life balance

To ensure that colleagues can prioritise their personal lives as much as their professional commitments we offer:

  • Email communication– There will be no expectation that staff respond to any email sent between 4.00 pm and 8.00am, nor any email sent between 4.00pm on Friday and 8.00am on Monday, until those time frames have elapsed. During school holidays email communication will be optional.
  • Published policies in relation to your well being
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Regular staff social events and clubs
  • Well being activities (eg. athletics, yoga, stress reduction) -these are voluntary
  • Discounted Gym memberships
  • Newly launched Cycle to Work Scheme

Professional Development

We want all staff to be the best at what they do, to deliver the best outcomes for all pupils.

In return we are committed to:

  • Appraisal processes which are developmental and linked to both school priorities and career development opportunities. Time will be properly allocated to ensure appraisal processes do not create additional workload.
  • A Career Progression Pathway for every colleague, highlighting opportunities for core training, external programmes, accreditation and opportunities to support other colleagues and schools. This development will not be compulsory.
  • Structured Early Career Development for all training, newly and recently qualified teachers.
  • Induction programmes for new staff at all levels, including headship and governance.
  • CPD activity which addresses school priorities and also enables personal choice
  • Collaborative networks and events, from subject areas to all levels of leadership.
  • Professional development activities balanced with nominated additional days’ holiday.

Your working environment

We are committed to:

  • A clean, comfortable, quiet working environment
  • Regular reviews of working hours, including directed working hours, allocations for all colleagues
  • A suite of Staff Welfare policies across GMLT schools,
  • Visible SLT in all schools, located in key areas, supporting staff throughout the day
  • Support with difficult parents upon request
  • Clear structures in every school for HR matters
  • Proper time allocated to PPA