Schools have not been great in 2022.
We are not the only ones struggling to cope with staff shortages, systems breaking and clients needing more. The oil, gas, health, aged care, child care, agriculture and maritime industries are in the same boat and schools around Australia are struggling to create systems to help teachers to cope so that they can help students to thrive.
COVID is showing up cracks that had been papered over in good times by people going beyond their job descriptions to make the systems work.
Breakfast with champions
This morning I had breakfast with Jen Sheridan, Danielle Kabilio and Dr Sherrilyn Mills at Social Manna in Vic Park. They are all consultants who are working with organisations to stop COVID-delivered workplace crises.
Sherrilyn is a psychosocial, occupational health, and wellbeing specialist.
Danielle works on psychosocial health, helping stressed people and stressed workplaces.
Jen is an executive coach who is working with education departments in other states.
They are experts in developing strategies to create better-functioning workplaces. The new West Australian Occupational Health and Safety Psychological Hazards in the Workplace Code of Practice is now guiding workplaces on what they should aim for. Schools in 2022 aren’t coming close. Things are probably much worse now than they were three years ago.
Principals struggling to create healthy workplaces
I have heard of principals bringing the new Code of Practice to meetings, and showing it to staff. I haven’t heard of any school that has developed a strategy to comply with this new requirement. Schools have been too busy doing crisis management.
Schools are going to have to comply with the West Australian Code. It isn’t a “nice to have” bonus.
If you are trying to find ways through this really tough year in the workplace, you could try contacting one of these experts. They may be able to set you in the right direction. It may be possible for a group of schools to collaborate with these consultants to create better workplaces by 2023 rather than facing another year of crisis management.
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