Support for your health and wellbeing
GTC Scotland is the professional registration body for teachers and lecturers in Scotland. The GTC Scotland Health and Wellbeing Hub provides a variety of resources to support colleagues’ wellbeing.
Previous Webinars which are available on the GTCS Health and Wellbeing page are:
- Taking stock and staying centred in uncertain times – supported by Claire Lavelle Hive of Wellbeing - This included sharing self-coaching strategies to support educators in taking stock of where their own wellbeing needs are being met and where they might consider a more self-compassionate and resourceful approach towards themselves in more challenging areas. Claire also shared ideas to cultivate habits of 'breaking the state,' returning to and staying centred when feeling overwhelmed.
- Impact of Racial discrimination on health and wellbeing – Khadija Mohammed, Yasmeen Hussain, Marcia Edwards and Sharon Smith discussed racial discrimination issues, how they impact on teachers’ wellbeing and learning about what we can do to combat the effects of discrimination and abuse.
- Ask the Health and Wellbeing Specialist - Dr Emma Hepburn, Sarah Philp and Claire Lavelle discussed a range of health and wellbeing subjects including: asking for help and recognising and owning how we feel; anxiety and mindfulness techniques; difficult conversations and supporting my colleagues; inner critic and imposter syndrome; feelings of isolation and supporting teams online; working from home aches and pains; hyper vigilance and exhaustion.
- Webinars are recorded and available on our Health and Wellbeing Hub and within MyPL with accompanying resources and support videos.
A series of webinars are available for probationer supporters. The webinars have all been recorded to ensure that they are accessible over the course of the school session. The topics included are:
- Pastoral Support for Probationers (with Claire Lavelle)
- Challenging Conversations (with Agnes Hendry)
- Completing a case overview as part of the profile process (with Elaine Napier)
Early career teachers
GTC Scotland continues to work in partnership with Education Scotland to offer a programme of professional learning under the banner of ‘Stepping Stones’. This is an online community for post-probationers and teachers in their first four years of full registration. You can find out more about the Stepping Stones programme here.
Support for the health and wellbeing of learners
1. Links to support the positive mental health and wellbeing of children and young people
A summary of information, resources and organisations have been curated by Education Scotland and are freely available to support primary and secondary school staff to support mental wellbeing.
Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing : A Professional Learning Resource For All School Staff - The resource takes a whole school approach centred around prevention and early intervention to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone in the school community. It aims to provide school staff with knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing in schools and a range of opportunities to learn about experiences and advice from practitioners and young people.
2. Supporting children and young people with trauma, grief and loss
A Professional Learning Activity created as an introduction to ‘Compassionate and Connected Community’ has been developed by Education Scotland and can be accessed via Professional Learning and Leadership Online Resource. This resource provides an introduction to supporting children and young people affected by trauma.
A Professional Learning Activity ‘Supporting children and young people through grief and loss’ is provided by Education Scotland and available via the Professional Learning and Leadership Online Resource (login required). This professional learning provides information on the possible grief reactions related to the COVID-19 experience
NHS Education Scotland has a variety of resources available for working with young people and families at this time.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 Barnardo’s in partnership with Public Health Scotland launched a film – ‘It’s All About Relationships: Embedding relational, trauma sensitive approaches in education settings’. The aim of the film is to make explicit links between trauma-sensitive, relational approaches within Education and children and young people’s mental health.
We also developed this Wakelet which has a range of support materials linked to this subject.
Beacon House supports for staff supporting children and young people affected by trauma.
3. Support for Children and Young People Experiencing Domestic Abuse
Education Scotland has provided information for educators on domestic abuse which is aimed at all staff in early learning and childcare settings and schools, including senior leadership teams.
A report by the Scottish Government - Coronavirus (COVID-19): domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls - 30/3/20-22/05/20 - provides the qualitative evidence on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on people experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women/girls (VAWD) during COVID-19 lockdown for the period 30 March 2020 to 22 May 2020.
4. Mental health and wellbeing: local authority supports
Local authorities across Scotland created bespoke supports for staff, including specific supports from educational psychologists.
Further support is available from local authority Educational psychology services across Scotland
1. EIS (Education Institute of Scotland) - Supporting teachers to deliver remote learning
EIS’s Lockdown Learning resource is a series of learning activities that could be useful in both blended and remote learning scenarios. The main focus of these is learner engagement and wellbeing. The resources are broadly divided into Primary and Secondary with scope for adaptation by teachers to suit the needs of their learners as they see fit.
An updated version of the EIS Working from Home guidance is also now available. It advises members around a variety of relevant topics such as managing workload while home-working, wellbeing matters and engaging with pupils online.
Support for the Provision of COVID-secure In-school Learning
The EIS has created a suite of sector-specific online curriculum and pedagogy guidance covering Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Special Primary and Special Secondary Education. The guidance aims to support teachers in adapting pedagogy to take account of the current public health imperatives and the priorities identified within the Recovery Curriculum.
Webinars focused on COVID-secure pedagogy for teachers of Early Years, Primary and Secondary have enabled teachers to come together virtually to share thinking around the challenges and successes that they’ve experienced in adjusting pedagogy to take account of the COVID context. Recordings and associated presentations are available to view on the EIS website.
Supporting Teachers to Address the Equity-impact of the Pandemic
The EIS PACT Project has provided professional learning to teachers focussed on the poverty impact of COVID-19. Webinar recordings and self-access modular learning materials are available for all teachers in Scotland on the PACT zone of the EIS website.
Equality-focused Support for Teachers
The pandemic has shone a harsh light on pre-existing societal inequalities, many of which have been exacerbated by COVID. For teachers wishing to learn more about Equality matters in the context of COVID and more generally, the EIS has created a package of online Equality Taster Training which provides opportunities to increase knowledge of equality legislation and how it relates to education, and enables teachers to enhance their awareness of inequality and how to address it.
Support in Advancing Race Equality
As part of the EIS wider anti-racist strategy a programme of learning activity has been offered to members, including all-member webinars and a comprehensive anti-racist leadership learning programme, with bespoke sessions for trade union representatives, education leaders and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members. Following these sessions, tailored guidance and learning resources will be launched online.
The EIS has organised a range of online initiatives to facilitate members coming together to support one another and share their experiences in relation to equality issues during the pandemic and lockdown. The EIS established an informal National BAME Network, and held an event for disabled members and members with access or communication difficulties – to map issues affecting them and explore ways of providing support.
Supporting Teachers to Focus on their Wellbeing
The EIS launched a programme of wellbeing-related professional learning for EIS members. More information can be found here: Our-Well-Being-Matters.
In Spring 2020, the EIS created a Working at Home resource which although intended to support teachers during the first period of school closure, it still has relevance to the current context. It contains 4 main sections: Looking After Your Health and Wellbeing; Making Time for You: Daily Inspiration; Lockdown Learning Ideas; and Continuing Your Professional Learning.
Making Time for You: Daily Inspiration - A wide variety of suggestions to help teachers take a little bit of time for themselves every day, away from work and other routine duties, to help them keep well mentally, emotionally and physically. Music, gardening, cooking, cinema, theatre, poetry, exercise and much more feature in the suggestions- plenty of creative ways that teachers can snatch some quality leisure time to help achieve greater work-life balance.
The EIS Health and Wellbeing Resource is a collation of materials, resources and useful contacts intended to support teachers’ health and wellbeing, and to help them support the wellbeing of others, including children and young people.
The Continuing Your Professional Learning section of the EIS website aims to support teachers in keeping their own professional learning alive, with advice and resources on a wide range of subjects including using digital methods for remote learning. For more information on any of the EIS resources, please contact Leigh Meechan: email@example.com
Support from Education Scotland
Wakelet - Staff wellbeing
NHS wellbeing frameworks:
- Staff Wellbeing During a Pandemic and Beyond
- National Wellbeing Hub for those working in Health and Social Care
NHS Education for Scotland: