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Stress Management

Policy Statement
This policy supplements Woodlawn School’s existing general policy on health and safety. Woodlawn School recognises that stress at work is a health and safety issue.

Woodlawn School accepts its legal responsibility to exercise its duty of care towards its workers and to manage the risk that they are exposed to from workplace hazards, including stress. The introduction of a stress management policy must be supported by a shared understanding between managers and the staff whom they manage that stress is a significant and a legitimate health issue in the workplace.

Uncomfortable levels of stress are not to be seen as an inevitable part of modern life or as a sign of individual weakness. Woodlawn School staff who are suffering from stress or stress-related illness will be encouraged to seek help and support and will not be subject to unfair discrimination of any sort. Workers have a duty to themselves under health and safety at work law to minimise the experience of stress in the workplace and are expected to play an active part in stress management initiatives. Inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying and harassment, can affect colleagues’ stress levels and will not be tolerated.

Woodlawn School will:
  • uphold all legislative requirements relating to health and safety at work and the management of risk from work-related stress 
  • carry out assessments to determine the nature and the scale of risk to health from stressors 
  • communicate the results of these assessments to the workers involved 
  • act on the information these assessments provide by taking all reasonable and practicable steps to reduce, eliminate or otherwise manage the source of stress 
  • review assessments regularly to take account of changes in work situations and in people’s ability to cope with them 
  • encourage a working environment in which stress can be openly discussed and the concerns of workers addressed sympathetically and positively 
  • ensure that all managers are aware of the need to recognise and identify workers suffering the ill effects of stress 
  • give any member of staff experiencing or exhibiting signs of stress the opportunity to discuss the problem in a sympathetic and constructive atmosphere 
  • take reasonable steps to minimise their problems, including appropriate training and reviewing the demands of their work 
  • offer avenues of support when a person suffering from stress is away from work ill and provide support and rehabilitation for some time after their return to work
  • the head teacher and senior management will be required to put into place mechanisms to implement, maintain and review this policy 
Staff will:
  • play their part in the identification of possible stressful situations as part of the risk assessment process 
  • take responsibility for recognising harmful levels of stress in themselves and seek advice and help as appropriate