St Stephen’s School’s holistic approach to staff wellbeing and development has been recognised in The Educator magazine’s 5-Star Excellence Awards, naming the northern suburbs school as a national Employer of Choice.
The Awards showcase Australian schools that are leading the way in employee recruitment and retention. St Stephen’s School earned a place on the list for the importance it places on staff wellbeing and established professional development and leadership programs.
St Stephen’s School Principal Donella Beare said the School was thrilled to be recognised.
“St Stephen’s School values lifelong learning and is committed to the improvement of School performance through the ongoing, intentional and measured improvement of staff performance,” she said.
“I know how much pride and hard work goes in to creating a welcoming workplace, like what we are lucky to enjoy at St Stephen’s School, and to know the Awards are based on quantitative and qualitative data gathered directly from our staff, which includes more than 320 people, is a real achievement.”
Some of the schemes in place include allowance for part-time work options, earlier access to long service leave and a two-day professional development event called Staff Expo where staff come together for in-depth professional and personal growth. This is followed by a Wellness Day where staff are not to catch up on work but do something nice for themselves.
The School has an active Social Club, regular wellbeing newsletter, Above and Beyond nominations for staff who go the extra mile, onsite gyms, and a range of training opportunities for current and aspiring leaders such as the annual Leadercon Conference which invites staff from various levels within the School to take part in Executive discussions.
The School has also employed a Legal, Safety and Health manager to identify and implement risk and safety systems and processes and to support staff during work and non-work-related return to work processes.
Mrs Beare said staff are one of the biggest drivers behind an organisation’s growth and sustainability.
“As an independent school, we are lucky to have the ability to hire the best people for our community,” she said.“Matching our students’ needs to the best candidates drives a stronger sense of community and fosters long-lasting relationships between students, teachers and families.
“I am also a big believer in asking the question of ‘How are our staff expected to mould the next generation of leaders into well-rounded young people if they aren’t valued or encouraged to excel themselves?’.
“Beyond academics, we work to instil various capabilities in our students like innovation, creativity and problem-solving, so it is essential that we allow our staff to cultivate these skills as daily role models.”
Some of the comments from staff that were included in the Award submission note a sense of belonging, “feeling incredibly supported and valued”, enjoying excellent teamwork and a community that “drives me to do my best”.