COVID-19 Wellbeing & Resources for Schools

Welcome to the Kent-Teach COVID-19 Wellbeing & Resources for Schools Hub.

With schools facing unprecedented challenges and disruption every day due to the pandemic, staying on top of news, best practices and keeping staff and student wellbeing at the forefront of the collective school mind can be a bit of a minefield to navigate! 

Whether you're a headteacher, a teacher delivering lessons remotely or working in bubbles, or school support staff, we've designed this hub to provide a range of information on staying safe, happy and healthy during these times.

Staff Appreciation Checklist

Showing your employees and colleagues that you appreciate their hard work and efforts is of the utmost importance, especially in light of the events of the last year! Happy staff, who feel valued and recognised, means improved retention and a decline in staff turnover. Teaching, whilst a thoroughly fulfilling and rewarding role, is not without challenges and often presents a high workload. Our Staff Appreciation Checklist is designed for ease whilst giving teaching staff the recognition they deserve and injects positivity into your workplace culture. 

Helplines & Support

Download a copy of our Education Staff Helplines poster here to display in the staff room and email to all members of staff. 

Download our Support and Advice for SLT here to keep a copy to hand.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Back to School Survival Kit

On the 8th March 2021, all pupils across England will be returning to schools and colleges. Although school staff have been continuously working throughout the pandemic it has been 3 months since all pupils were in the classroom. To support education staff on the full return to school, we have put together a Back to School Survival Kit. This is a fantastic resource for SLT and Headteachers to help them support their staff. 

1) Download a copy of our Education Staff Helplines; distribute this to your staff and display around the school. It is important your staff are aware of the support available to them.

2) Help your staff to support your pupils. With all pupils returning to the classroom once more it is understandable that they, and teaching staff, might be feeling a little anxious. We have put together some tips and ideas for helping children to settle back into school life.

3) We have all been impacted by Covid-19 in our professional and personal lives but the impact on our education staff has been severe. The Teacher Wellbeing Index 2020 found more than half (57%) of education professionals do not feel they can share mental health issues or unmanageable stress with their employer. Download our free Mental Health Support for Education Staff Guide to discover ways to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. 

4) With many school staff experiencing anxieties and concerns about the full return to the classroom, it is vital that we support them. The transition for many will be challenging and overwhelming. Download our Back to School Checklist for SLT to ensure your staff wellbeing is prioritised. All resources mentioned in the checklist are linked below. 

Workplace Wellbeing Champion Charter

Wellbeing Case Study - Thamesview School

Helplines for Education Staff

The Mental Health Foundation

Kent-Teach Blogs

1) Mental Health in Schools During Coronavirus Pandemic - in this blog, we cover ways to support pupils and upskill staff during these difficult times.

2) How Anxiety Affects Your Sleep and How to Change It - if you have been experiencing anxiety due to COVID-19, this blog offers some tips for getting a good night's rest.

3) 6 Back to School Tips for Teachers After COVID-19 - the back to school nerves following a school holiday are common, but are likely at an all-time high this year. Recharge and prepare with our top tips.

4) Mindfulness During Coronavirus - practicing mindfulness can help you to become more calm and self-aware. 

• Visit the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools, if you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood.
• The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
• If you already have a mental health problem, you can access comprehensive guidance provided by Mind.

Existing Mental Health

Rethink has created an online hub to provide practical support and information that is useful for people living with or supporting people with mental illness.

NHS check in and chat service 
The NHS Volunteers Service can also provide a telephone ‘check in and chat’ for if you have mental health issues and are feeling isolated. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) or visit the website.

Experiencing Grief 
Cruse Bereavement Care offers advice and support on dealing with bereavement and grief during the COVID-19 outbreak, or At a provides signposting to services across the UK.

Financial Concerns 
You may be worried about work and money. Guidance on rights at work, benefits and support at guidance for work and support or advice from Citizens Advice or the National Debtline.

Advice for drugs and alcohol use
Smoking or using drugs or alcohol to cope in times of stress and disruption can make things worse, including your mental health. NHS Smokefree provides information and advice on quitting smoking and One You has resources to help with cutting back on alcohol

Finding Mental Health Support in your area

Teaching mental health and wellbeing in schools

Practical Guidance

Kent-Teach Blogs

1) How Kent Schools Have Adapted Learning Spaces for COVID-19 - discover how schools across Kent have become creative with adapting learning spaces over the past few months.

2) Distance Learning Tips and Tricks for Teachers - do you still have some element of remote teaching in your role? This blog contains some free apps and websites for teachers to assist with distance learning.

3) 5 Tips to Get The Most From Home Learning During Coronavirus Pandemic - if home learning is very much still a part of your life, read these tips to adapt and get the most out of distance learning. 

4) How To Teach From The Comfort Of Your Own Home, A Helpful Guide - teaching remotely? Here are some top tips to navigate online teaching.

5) 12 Things You Must Do Before A Virtual Interview - although face-to-face interviews are slowly becoming more accessible, some schools are continuing to run with virtual interviews. 

Support for School Leaders

School Leadership Support - Guidance for how school leaders can get help from system leaders to overcome challenges due to COVID-19.

Education Guidance and Advice

Education Endowment Foundation COVID-19 Support Guide for Schools - covers teaching and whole-school strategies, targeted approaches, and wider strategies.

KELSI Coronavirus Guidance for Schools - updated advice for Early Years providers, schools, and Further Education providers.

The Department for Education

Education and Childcare Guidance - offers guidance for teachers, school leaders, parents and carers and pupils.

Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19) - a collection of advice and guidance for school leaders, teachers and school support staff during the pandemic.

Guidance on isolation for residential educational settings - advice for boarding schools, residential special schools and children's social care.

Ofsted COVID-19 series - briefing notes on inspections.

Get help with remote education - guidance, resources and support for teachers and school leaders on educating pupils during the pandemic. 

Adapting teaching practice for remote education - advice on adapting learning activities, IT support and feedback and assessment.