Holy Family Catholic School

Holy Family Catholic School and Sixth Form, a busy school based in London, have used our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for a number of years. Assistant Head Louise explains how consistently well-used the service is and how it offers a support network for teachers and other school staff that often isn’t available anywhere else.  

Your stories / 3 mins read

It’s so important to have the EAP in place for staff, just generally. A decent support system for people working in education is essential.

We launched our EAP to staff a few years ago and it’s been used consistently ever since. We make sure to remind everyone about it at the start of each school year. Our Headteacher is a real advocate for supporting all staff with their mental health and we do our best to promote it across the school, everywhere that colleagues may come across a poster or a flyer.

We make sure people know that there is a free, confidential, specialist support service available for them, as teachers and other members of staff at our school. We tell them about the range of advice and support offered too, including counselling and I am happy to share with people that I’ve used it twice, and had really positive experiences on both occasions. I think it’s mainly used for access to counselling but I know people have also used legal, financial and bereavement support and services.

We get a report each year which tells us how people are using it (everything is anonymised of course). This gives us a guarantee that we aren’t throwing money down the drain - it’s used well and to be honest, even if just a few members of staff used it, we would still think that was beneficial for us as a school. Although it can be hard to measure improvements in things like wellbeing for staff, we know that it helps. Our recent gold Investors in People award referenced the services we provide, via Education Support, for our staff, as something that has had a positive impact.



We all need a bit of extra help sometimes and I think it reflects really well on us as a school that we offer it, and that people are comfortable taking up that offer. It means they aren’t afraid to use it and trust the support available.

I’ve been working in schools for twenty five years and it’s different to other workplaces - we don’t have a formal HR and line managers are often focused purely on the professional side of things. The EAP offers that more pastoral, supportive, personal angle, and all confidentially too.
We see it get used by women and men - not because we are a particularly high stress school (we are a supportive school) but because people feel comfortable and able to access support when they need it.

We all need a bit of extra help sometimes and I think it reflects really well on us as a school that we offer it, and that people are comfortable taking up that offer. It means they aren’t afraid to use it and trust the support available.

People get talked through clear pathways for support and advice. It’s not just for people who are struggling with their mental health - it does provide services like counselling, but it also offers more than that too. The type of support on offer is pretty amazing. When I’ve used the EAP personally I’ve found people to be really professional, organised and supportive in their approach - it’s a brilliant service which all schools should use and I’d definitely recommend it.

Employee Assistance Programme
Employee Assistance Programme