The Big Give Project: Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools

25 Schools been chosen to be part of the Big Give project, to be delivered from September 2021. Each of the 25 schools will identify their priorities to continue the development of their staff wellbeing strategy, in line with the deliverables for a Well Led school, including but not limited to:

  • Staff Well being Policy
  • SLT/Governor Lead
  • Reduction of Stigma
  • Workload Strategy
  • Role Modelling
  • Agency and Trust
  • Collaboration
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Support and Intervention
  • People Development

Each school will use this thread to post about their projects including intervention ideas, outcomes and impact.

If you are looking implement something similar to any of the projects please connect in here


I am pleased to be part of this project and having discussed it with my deputy, I hope my ideas are on the right lines!


Great stuff Jane, feel free to share your thoughts here and I am sure colleagues will help check and challenge. Equally, feel free to share your short project plan when you have time.

Take care

We are a small school and so there is no escape from the workload for teachers unfortunately however one of the things teachers feedback to me that would make the biggest impact is time. Therefore we already have online calendars with all next year’s dates in. When we have Parents evenings scheduled, staff meetings are cancelled. Staff meeting time is also dedicated to writing IEPS and appraisals. If there isn’t an agenda, we don’t meet…if it can be said in an email it is . One of the INSET days at the beginning of the year is scheduled as classroom time. We also have a wellbeing basket in the staff room which contains treats, pouches for lunch, sachet coffees, cereals …for those days when you need a pick me up or have forgotten to eat lunch. This is restocked at the beginning of each term but it is supposed to be used on the if you use something, replace it. We have had a ‘Staff Spotlight of the Week’ where staff were encouraged to write a positive comment, memory or thankyou to members of staff. un beknownst to me this made some staff really uncomfortable…We provide free sanitary products too. CPD is offered to all staff and flexible working requests are always considered and agreed to where possible. We have also maintained some aspect of socialising with each other by inviting a mobile coffee van on site and using the hall to sit distanced and have a whole staff natter during the past 12 months

My thoughts on the project were to either write a wellbeing policy or explore a reward and recognition programme ? I am not sure what impact the policy would have though and it seems just like a box ticking exercise? I was going to pick an employee of the month and buy them a bunch of flowers and give them a VIP parking spot. Then I thought some staff may feel uncomfortable and is that not fair on staff who don’t drive? I discussed with my deputy the possibility of the school council devising some end of term awards for staff ?
My bursar also suggested a weekly staff award presented in our Friday celebration assembly.

Other ideas my deputy and I have had but which don’t seem to fit in the deliverables are arranging services to come into school to pick up collect such as mobile car washes , ironing services, beauty treatments …

The next year is going to be really challenging as we have just gone through a staffing restructure which has seen the school reduce from 5 to 4 classes because of falling rolls…however there will be change to come as we have approx 100 houses being built right next to school!! They were a year too late to prevent the restructure and of course we can’t guarantee it will impact on our intake but the first phase is due to be completed in October . I have to try to mitigate any impact of that too.

I would really welcome any thoughts from anyone about my ideas or things that you have implemented successfully in your school which reflect the deliverables .

Thank you


Hi Jane,

Thank you for sharing this - looks like you are doing some great work already with your staff Wellbeing.

If anyone has any thoughts or ideas that can support Jane please post them here.

1 Like

I am looking to focus on reward and recognition, is anyone doing the same? Need some ideas of how best to spend the £600


@sdoyle @ojones @jhannay @abethune Can we help here?

We thought about an employee of the month and buying flowers /chocs / a gift? Some of my staff feel uncomfortable being in the spotlight though and we as an SLT wondered if it might become lip service?


As well as using the £600 funding, we are looking at working with local organisations to support us with our initiatives. Our school is in Coventry and have built links with Coventry City FC and Wasps RFC who will supply us with tickets and some merchandise that we can give to staff. I know this will not necessarily be attractive to the whole workforce, but is an incentive that a lot of our staff would value. Ian

1 Like

A simple reward and recognition approach is fine as long as it a) isn’t tokenistic and is embedded in the way you work with staff on a daily basis and, b) fits in our wider staff wellbeing philosophy and support.


Great to be collaborating with other partners. Just make sure the rewards are sustainable and universal. Have you asked the staff what sort of things would be useful and appreciated?

Co-design is critical here.

yes, I created an anonymous Microsoft form and asked staff to rate the Wellbeing ideas myself and my deputy had come up with during a brainstorming session


That’s why we thought the employee of the month might not work too - especially with a small staff!

1 Like

Our main focus is on Personal Lifestyles Programmes, which we are consulting with staff about. The link with the sports clubs are secondary really and will feed into some of the initiatives we deliver… for example some prizes for our Big Staff Quiz social event.


I was thinking of asking Leaders of departments and line managers to nominate staff that have gone above and beyond and also nominate those who they feel have really made a difference. This would be termly to minimise costs but allows staff to be recognised.

Ideas for gifts, flowers, customised pens and positive post cards?

What do people think?


Hi, we have a weekly celebration briefing with our staff. Nominations are sent to the Head’s PA by colleagues so that recognition comes from within the staff body rather than from the SLT. We give out Super Star badges and staff wear their badges which generates questions from the students, “what is your badge for Miss?”. It’s a bit of fun, costs pennies and our staff love it. With nominations coming directly from staff themselves it has not become jaded or seen as lip service. We will play uplifting music as people enter the hall - it is a great way to start a Friday!


I like the idea of positive postcards and pens! We do notes home for children…we could do the same for staff too!


Thanks everyone I really like the sound of the briefing celebration, I don’t think I could do this weekly but it is something I would like to introduce. Also the badges sound fun, I am also looking at a ‘shout out board’ for people to nominate people for their hard work


Love this! Not everything has to cost loads and keeping it within the staff body improves credibility!