People are at the heart of who we are and what we do at Excalibur Academies Trust.
We believe that people reach their full potential and do their best work when they feel valued, supported and included. Creating a welcoming environment in which every member of our community can thrive goes hand in hand with our mission to help every child achieve more, regardless of the challenges they may face.
At Excalibur, we’re dedicated to developing the next generation of teachers, managers, and leaders by offering clearly defined pathways to success, and establishing a collaborative working environment in which everyone can flourish.
To achieve this, we are committed to making staff health and wellbeing a strategic priority, with strong commitment from leadership in supporting the Trust’s wellbeing strategy.
Employee Wellbeing Study 2021/2022
Over the past couple of years, the landscape of wellbeing has changed significantly, with new pressures not only in the workplace, but within our personal lives too. Education in particular has been dramatically affected, with the rise of remote working, digital technology and isolation practices fundamentally altering the way in which our staff deliver education.
With that in mind, we ran the latest Employee Wellbeing Survey during the summer of 2021, with the aim of identifying any areas of stress or difficulty for our staff throughout the previous couple of years.
We once again partnered with Welbee, experts in wellbeing analysis in education, to get a snapshot of how our employees felt about the support they received in their working lives. The survey process we used is recognised by the Department for Education’s Staff Wellbeing Charter, and we’d like to thank all of the staff members who took part – a huge 79% of all employees throughout Excalibur Academies Trust!
Our study analysed a number of areas that contribute significantly toward staff wellbeing. These were:
- Demands on our staff, including workload, working hours, and the work environment
- The level of Control our staff have over the work they do, and the way they do it
- Manager Support
- Peer Support
- Relationships, such as the promotion of a positive, collaborative working attitude and practices for dealing with disputes
- How well staff understand their Role, and how working conflicts are handled
- How well staff feel that Change, whether large or small, is handled in our Trust
In each area, the study posed a series of questions to gauge staff sentiment, covering things such as how achievable workload and deadlines are, how able staff feel they are able to rely on management, and the support they receive. Answers were given in the form of a number between 1 to 5, where 1 indicated strong disagreement and 5 meant strong agreement. The answers were then collected, and each area given a total score out of 5, where 5 indicates a perfect response.
We are delighted with the results of our survey, with the majority of our schools scoring very positively overall. In fact, across all key areas surveyed, our schools largely scored in the top 30% of schools in the UK.
In particular, our Trust scored very highly in Control, meaning our staff are happy with the level of control they have over their workload, rest periods, and the way they carry out their responsibilities. Demands and Peer Support were close behind, with staff indicating that they were not pressured to work longer hours or to work to unachievable deadlines, and they are able to rely upon their peers for support and guidance.
Other points of note include:
- Staff feel they can rely on their manager to help them with work problems, and that they receive greater encouragement from line managers (top 10% of schools)
- Our staff are clear about their duties and responsibilities, and know how to get their work done (top 10% of schools)
- Staff are always consulted about changes at work, are given sufficient opportunity to question leaders about change, and understand how changes will be made in practice (top 10% of schools)
Responding to the results of our survey, Excalibur Academies Trust CEO Nicky Edmondson said: “The wellbeing of our staff is of utmost importance at Excalibur, and we know that people work best when they feel supported. it’s encouraging to see that so many of our staff members feel valued and supported. And, where room for improvement has been identified, I look forward to working closely with our colleagues to continue to make our working environment as inclusive and collaborative as we can.”
Whilst the survey showed some fantastic results and a largely positive view of staff wellbeing, there’s is more we can be doing. Our areas of focus going forward are:
- Improving our ability to recognise achievement – or challenges – ‘in-the-moment’ and monitoring wellbeing authentically in day-to-day operations
- Improving the perception of autonomy, perhaps through the use of coaching and language
- Understanding and promoting leadership behaviours that prevent and reduce staff stress
- Encouraging and promoting peer support and relationships
You can learn more about our employee wellbeing and development strategies here.