Wessex Multi Academy Trust: support that’s there when staff need it
We spoke to Robyn Symes, HR Manager at Wessex Multi Academy Trust about the benefits of having the Education Support Employee Assistance Programme as part of their offering to all staff.
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Wessex Multi Academy Trust have offered the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to their staff for just under 18 months. During this time the MAT has grown, with six new schools joining. All new staff are invited to attend a launch of the EAP, so that they understand what support is provided. This is to make sure that even if they don’t need support right now, they know it’s there when they do.
Robyn says: "We are a relatively new MAT but right from the start we have had a focus on wellbeing. The Education Support Employee Assistance Programme is a key part of our wellbeing agenda, and we are keen to promote it as a benefit for all our staff. We think you need to continuously talk about it and remind people it’s available. Working with Education Support has been good. When we needed more resources, they were sorted out quickly.
The Education Support Employee Assistance Programme is a key part of our wellbeing agenda, and we are keen to promote it as a benefit for all our staff.
Robyn Symes, HR Manager
One benefit of having the programme as a Trust, is that it's there as a central wellbeing offering. Our schools can do their own wellbeing work as well, but it’s there for everyone as a starting point.
When another Trust asked, I told them that the Education Support EAP is a great benefit to offer staff. I think it stands out compared to other EAPs because of the range of support and services available.
One of the benefits we love is that it is available to adult household members as well as our staff. The resources website seems endless! It’s also convenient – the phone line is available 24/7 which is what people need, because they do not often have time to have a conversation in working hours. It’s also got lots of different aspects – Manager Assist, financial support - it’s not just a telephone line but a broad offering.
Also, the fact that it’s an education charity helps. I think it gives people more reassurance and more confidence when they call, because they are education specialists. Knowing they are likely to speak to someone that understands the education sector and the challenges that are specific to the sector, that really helps."