Skip to content ↓

Hinchingbrooke School

You are here:

Staff Wellbeing

Staff wellbeing is a priority at Hinchingbrooke School.  It has been a focus of the School Development Plan since 2020 and as such, staff wellbeing is something that is considered whenever decisions are made about the running of the school.  

Workload Reduction 

At HBK all full-time teachers are given an additional non-contact lesson a fortnight above the usual 10%.  We aim to put together a calendar, which avoids classroom teachers having to attend more than one after school meeting or event in any given week.  We have developed a whole-school approach to assessment and marking, which focuses on quality over quantity. We have devolved responsibility for some aspects of assessment and marking to departments, to ensure that what staff are doing is relevant to each individual subject. Following feedback from staff we have streamlined the reporting process, reducing the number of data entry points and making use of systems to generate reports without staff having to enter any additional data.  Finally, we have invested in upgrading IT systems and rolled out the use of Office 365 to enable staff to work more efficiently, both at school and remotely.

High Quality CPD 

From induction when they are presented with a ‘Welcome’ booklet, we invest in our staff by providing bespoke, high quality CPD opportunities. These range from internal opportunities to discuss, share and develop Teaching and Learning ideas and practice through:

  • Targeted induction sessions in the first half-term to introduce new members of staff to the Hinchingbrooke Approach
  • Regular departmental and pastoral meetings
  • Workshops, for example ‘Teach Meet’ on Staff Training Days
  • Regular ‘Teach Share’s in briefing and the staff bulletin
  • Teaching and Learning Committee
  • Coaching opportunities including the Peer Observation Programme (POP) 

As well as a bespoke programme for trainees and ECTs, we support external opportunities to acquire recognised qualifications such as NPQML, NPQSL, Chartered Teacher or NPQH. We encourage all staff to consider additional CPD through undertaking courses with the Chartered College, PiXL and/or the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI).

Wellbeing enhancement 

At HBK we realise that staff wellbeing is not just about reducing workload, but also about offering staff something extra in return for their continued hard work.  We have developed a range of ‘ACES Perks’, which include complimentary membership of HBK Leisure for all staff, providing access to the gym, fitness suite, swimming pool and classes and are available to all staff within the ACES Trust. Staff can also take advantage of O2 Open discounts, reduced price tickets for school and PAC events.  All staff are entitled to a free flu-jab and we are continually on the look-out for opportunities to identify offers, for which staff are eligible.  We also run ‘Feel Good Fridays’ as part of our social calendar, which includes staff football, staff netball and the Hinchingbrooke Community Choir.

hinchingbrooke staff association

The Staff Association meets up every half term as a committee.  They send cards and sometimes gifts for different occasions to staff.  This could be for a birth, a wedding, a bereavement or for someone who is leaving or to commemorate special moments.  The Staff Association organises staff treats for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and other such occasions.  Staff are invited to pay ‘subs’ of £1 each month through their salary and all staff are invited to attend committee meetings. 

The Staff Association organise the staff Christmas Party, which is a wonderful opportunity for all staff to get together at the end of the first term and hold festivities in Hinchingbrooke House. They also organise the end of term celebrations, ensuring there is an opportunity to say goodbye to any staff who are leaving at the end of the year.

Below is an overview of our wellbeing journey, detailing how the changes detailed above came into place.

wellbeing and workload forum 

A Wellbeing and Workload Forum was established in the Summer term of 2019 with representatives from teaching and support staff, SLT, middle leaders and teachers. A staff survey was conducted before the first meeting and informed the initial discussions about wellbeing.  As well as raising the profile and awareness of staff wellbeing, this group brought about a number of improvements:

  • An early finish to the school day at the end of both the Christmas and Summer terms
  • An increase in department-meeting time
  • An increase in department and PPA time on training days
  • A later start to mid-term training days
  • A new assessment and marking policy
  • A reduction in the number of written school reports
  • Fewer data collection points in the year
  • New work scrutiny and M&E processes
  • A free Flu jab offered to all staff
  • An increase in social events for staff, including ‘Feel Good Friday’ activities
  • Allowing all form tutors to register in their teaching room
  • Restructuring the timings of the school day

We set up a SharePoint site dedicated to staff wellbeing, which contains advice and Hinchingbrooke documents, such as HBK Leisure membership forms. This site is regularly updated and shared with staff in the weekly bulletin.

Through lockdown we provided flexibility, asking those staff who were able to be in school to support keyworker children to do so as part of a rota, but also allowing those staff who needed to be at home with their own children to do so. We also provided advice for staff about the best ergonomic set-up for teaching online, whether at home or in school, and provided equipment such as raised keyboard stands to support this process. The ACES Trust also provided free sight tests for all members of staff to reflect the increased screentime brought about by the pandemic. When schools were reopened, we consulted with staff to ensure measures were in place to keep everybody safe and that staff felt reassured about the new mitigations and systems in place. 


staff workload focus group 

In 2021 Hinchingbrooke signed up to the DfE Wellbeing Charter. The Wellbeing and Workload Forum became the Staff Workload Focus Group. In 2021 to 2022 a new survey was conducted around workload and the results used to inform which of the Charter commitments should be worked on first. The Focus Group helped to influence the new behaviour system introduced in September 2022 that moved to operating a centralised system of rewards and detentions to reduce workload. The Group also devised a new Communication Policy and internal communication protocol document, which was shared with all staff. 

hbk heroes 

In September 2021 the ‘HBK Heroes’ initiative was introduced whereby students were given the opportunity each term to recognise and thank staff for supporting them.

In June 2022, following feedback from students, the initiative was extended to include students being able to recognise and thank other students, as well as staff. Staff are also given the opportunity to write these cards to one another as part of our end of term briefings.

staff workload survey 

In order to maximise staff input we moved in September 2022 from the staff workload focus group to a whole-staff workload survey, the responses to which were then discussed by middle and senior leaders. Further changes to reduce workload and improve staff wellbeing continue to be implemented including, but not limited to the following:

  • Introducing a Staff Flex initiative in the Summer term of 2023, whereby staff could leave early on a nominated day when they were free period 5. Following a positive response in the 2023 Summer survey, this initiative will be rolled and out and expanded to support staff in 2023-24
  • Following staff feedback we reduced the number of morning briefings: whole staff briefing taking place only in the first and last weeks of each half term and alternating department (week A) and year team (week B) briefings rather than holding both of these every week
  • We moved Year 10 work experience to ensure it took place after Year 10 exams, thereby providing gain time to support staff with marking these papers
  • Following positive feedback from staff and parents / carers we kept subject parents’ evenings online so that staff could conduct their appointments from home if they wished
  • We introduced new photocopiers that required a swipe card to log-in to replace the previous more long-winded log-in process
  • We gave Heads of Department more non-contact time on their 2023-24 timetable

Below is an example of an action plan informed by the staff survey

showing how the Senior Leadership Team responded to any concerns

raised. We fed back on progress made against each of these actions

in the summer term, 2024.


Staff Survey Autumn 2023 – SLT Reflections and Action Plan


Staff Wellbeing and Workload Survey – February 2024




dFe workload reduction taskforce 

SLT have also been discussing the DfE’s Workload Reduction Taskforce initial recommendations, which were produced in January 2024 whose ambition is to reduce teachers’ and leaders’ working hours by 5 hours a week within three years.

The workload reduction taskforce was established to support the government’s ambition to reduce teachers’ and leaders’ working hours by 5 hours a week within 3 years. Their final recommendations are due in Spring 2024.

Initial Recommendations:





Accordion content