Heart Academies Trust: finding a provider that understands the education sector
Heart Academies Trust in Bedfordshire have four schools and 470 staff. They were looking to upgrade their existing wellbeing support programme to provide a greater range of services, and for a provider that understood the pressures faced by those working in education. Sheila Claridge, HR Manager, tells us how they got on.
Your stories / 3 minutes read
Working in education has all sorts of pressures. You’re constantly busy, and it’s constantly demanding. Moving to the Education Support Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) fitted with our wish to recognise the unique challenges faced by our teams working in education, rather than providing a generic employee assistance programme.
It was very important to us that Education Support was working in the education sector. Our existing provider was linked to our childcare vouchers and offered phone-based services only. It was very under-promoted and under-utilised.
We’ve seen benefits since starting with the Education Support EAP. Over the past four years employee engagement has increased, employee absence has declined, and we are regularly having conversations with our leaders and teams about ways of working to improve the wellbeing of everyone working within the Trust.
Over the past 4 years employee engagement has increased, employee absence has declined, and we are regularly having conversations with our leaders and teams about ways of working to improve the wellbeing of everyone working within the Trust.
Sheila Claridge, HR Manager
We have also used some of the additional services including workshops and on-site incident counselling. Both were easy to arrange and further demonstrated our commitment to our team’s wellbeing. The counsellor and the trainers we have met have all been exceptional and really understood our needs. We’ve also used your Wellbeing Resilience programme which is tailored to staff working in education.
A number of our staff have said how useful they have found the counselling and legal services in particular. I know for some employees, at times of their life when they have faced real difficulties Education Support have thrown them a life line.
During the last academic year, our school community was affected by a distressing incident. The counsellor sent by Education Support was great. She was mindful of the relationships and sensitivities involved, and had worked with us before. This gave us continuity, which everyone appreciated at such a difficult time.
To a school considering getting the Education Support Employee Assistance Programme, I’d say - it’s a really valuable resource. It shows a genuine commitment to wellbeing - and that you understand the challenges faced by your teams in their daily lives.
I know for some employees, at times of their life when they have faced real difficulties Education Support have thrown them a life line.
Sheila Claridge, HR Manager
Our service provides emotional and practical support that helps you and your colleagues thrive at work.
Are you a headteacher, deputy or assistant headteacher? Would you like to access services focussed on improving your mental health and wellbeing?