Cockburn Multi-academy Trust’s commitment to staff wellbeing

For all schools and academies in the Cockburn Multi-academy Trust, supporting students to have good mental health and resilience is vital, particularly in the current economic and Covid climate.

In addition to providing support from all staff, they have employed early intervention therapeutic workers and also have two members of staff who are currently completing Department for Education quality assured mental health lead training to support students.

However, the Cockburn MAT also places great importance on promoting good mental health for the hundreds of staff that work tirelessly for the young people of south Leeds.

They are proud of their commitment to become a Mindful Employer and celebrate their investment in training staff to become mental health first aiders. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is internationally recognised training, designed to help adults to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.

MHFA teaches how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health, different mental health issues and disorders and gives the confidence to guide to appropriate professional support.

Cockburn School, Cockburn Laurence Calvert Academy, Cockburn John Charles Academy, Middleton Primary School and Cockburn Haigh Road Academy all have MHFA trained staff. There are currently 12 accredited members of staff who have completed the training with a further 9 members of staff currently being trained.

Leading the training has been Cllr Sharon Burke (Labour, Middleton Park), who is also a Trustee of the Cockburn MAT.

This is a two-day engaging and interactive course and the feedback received so far is that Cllr Burke is a really personable and inspirational trainer and that it has been wonderful to have her supporting Cockburn MAT staff.

Originally founded at Cockburn School, now all Cockburn MAT schools and academies have Staff Wellbeing groups who meet regularly. These groups have shared information and guidance on a range of issues including menopause, bereavement, health and fitness. The groups also organise staff social events and find opportunities to bring staff together and to welcome new staff.

Another way that staff are supported is through innovative workplace support scheme and all Cockburn MAT staff have access to counselling, mental health support, physio and virtual GPs. This year they have also signed up to the Department for Education Wellbeing Charter as they strive to achieve their ambition to become a mentally healthy organisation for both staff and students.

David Gurney, Executive Headteacher, believes that working in this way will benefit the whole community in south Leeds:

“Despite the many challenges our students and staff face, I am extremely proud that within the Cockburn MAT they have such a positive and engaging experience and that they are so well supported” he said.

“We believe that by embedding positive mental health in our schools and academies, it sets a child up for success in their future education because they can be positive, calm and ready to learn.

“Our children feel safe and nurtured by a team of adults who are dedicated to their wellbeing. This will undoubtedly lead to them leading successful lives and contributing to society.”


This post is based on a press release issued by Cockburn Multi-academy Trust


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