Case Study  -  “Investing in teachers is a no brainer!”

An example of our work with a Welsh Secondary school - Developing a  Staff Talent Development and Mobilisation Programme. 

 

David Haynes, head of Ysgol Dewi Sant, St.Davids Wales, a Pembrokeshire secondary school, that narrowly escaped closure in 2015, describes GCSE and A-level results for 2017 at his school as “record breaking”.

 

Dr Dissanayake of Oxford Psychometrics describes the steps taken by YDS as extraordinary and the outcomes significant, as schools rarely bring in business psychologists to help them bring out the best in their staff. She says that, it also highlights the importance of investing in teachers in a more holist and tailored way and the vital role played by management in that process.

 

In addition to excellent school results, the talent development programme saw a reduction in teacher absenteeism, as the school continued to move towards the creation of a psychologically fitter environment for both students and staff.

"When I became a school governor at the 500 pupil secondary school, Ysgol Dewi Sant, St. Davids, in October 2012 and Chair of governors within two months I faced a situation where the school had been without a head-teacher for six months on account of extended sick leave, a staff-room that was in revolt against the Governing Body, an Estyn (Ofsted) inspection due in May 2013 and a declaration by the Director of Children and Schools that the school was scheduled for closure.
I was immediately taken by Dr. Dissanayake’s C.V. with her strong academic background in the field and her impressive work with the Antwerp British School and the Cabinet Office in Westminster. It was the perfect fit.

I gained the impression that Dr. Dissanayake, working as she did in Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and Europe, was an outsider. That appealed to me because we at Ysgol Dewi Sant have pursued our own salvation. We broke the mould in many ways and continue to do so. In Dr. Dissanayake we found an ally who totally understood this. We are profoundly grateful for her dedicated and inspirational work on our behalf.

1. The most evident transformation has been the growth of resilience amongst the staff. Through the programme individual staff members have been encouraged and trained to adapt and grow to meet the challenges that they face. 

2. This has manifested itself in an optimism amongst the staff body that is palpable when walking round the school.

3. There is a clear sense of purpose that staff members jointly share and with pride. There is no doubt that this translates daily to the pupils themselves.

4. In 12 months staff absence has fallen by 48%, bringing a cash saving in supply teaching of £14,000 !

5. The leadership is now focused on fulfilling the potential of pupils. The very real concerns staff have about their own futures have been put in context allowing them to develop strategies to ameliorate them.


David Lloyd, Chair of Governors, Ysgol Dewi Sant, St. Davids