Understanding The Journey Towards School Staff Wellbeing

  • Victoria Bellamy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Educational Psychology (DEdPsy)


Literature highlights school staff stress (e.g. Teacher Support Network, 2009) and the value of staff wellbeing for supporting student wellbeing (e.g. Weare, 2015). However, there is limited literature on how to implement staff wellbeing practices and an absence of in-depth research in this area. The present research explores the facilitators and barriers to the activities and processes that are associated with a staff wellbeing project in a secondary school. The researcher took a dual role in this piece of work: trainee educational psychologist and researcher.This approach enabled close contact with the participants and the gathering of rich data. A single case study methodology was used to enable an in-depth view to be taken. The participants were staff members who had involvement in the staff wellbeing project. The data consisted of interview transcripts and these were analysed using thematic analysis.

The most notable findings specific to the staff wellbeing focus of the project related to the personal nature of staff wellbeing. The project team were aware of the importance of not personalizing the project activities (namely, focusing project activities on meeting their own needs). Protective factors for this included the project leader not being a member of teaching staff (with teacher stressors deemed to increase risk of personalization) and having a small senior leadership team (SLT) presence on the project team, resulting in project team members remaining professional in approach. Due to the project team gathering wider staff views on leadership practices, SLT staff in the team felt they needed to minimise participation. This resulted in the project team being isolated from SLT support.
Date of Award12 May 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorJohn Franey (Supervisor) & Val J Williams (Supervisor)

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