Wellbeing Practitioner

  • Job title: Wellbeing Practitioner
  • Job Type: Full time, Term Time
  • Salary: £32,000 - £34,000 FTE
  • Department: Wellbeing Team
  • Reporting to: Director of Pupil Wellbeing
  • Location: Senior School, Highgate
  • Start: ASAP
  • Closing Date: 16 October 2023 at 5:00 pm
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We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Wellbeing Practitioner to join the busy and friendly Wellbeing Team at Highgate School. This is a fantastic opportunity for a skilled professional to join our established wellbeing team in prioritising pupil wellbeing.

We are looking for an organised, motivated and experienced wellbeing practitioner with an understanding of children’s mental health and wellbeing interventions to join our wellbeing team to work closely with pupils and school staff in embedding good wellbeing practices for our pupils.


The Department

Pupil wellbeing matters at Highgate School.  We want to support pupils to thrive in school and beyond.  Our wellbeing team work collaboratively with school staff to ensure they are equipped to understand and respond to the wellbeing needs of pupils, knowing when to refer on if needed.

Our wellbeing team consists of Director of pupil wellbeing, 3 Wellbeing practitioners, 4 counsellors and 2 play therapists across the foundation and a medical team. We have a wellbeing hub where pupils can go to emotionally regulate and to seek help. We also have a medical center where pupils can go to for treatment of physical ailments.

Our approach is a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing that is based on education and awareness, prevention, and therapeutic support. We aim to remove any stigmas that are often associated with struggling with mental health. We want our pupils and families to seek help as early as possible as early intervention can positively change the trajectory of mental health difficulties. The wellbeing practitioner plays an important role in responding to and supporting pupils with their wellbeing, acting as an important link between the wellbeing service and the wider school.

Job Description

We are looking to appoint an experienced [Wellbeing Practitioner] to work closely with our pupils to support them with their wellbeing and develop emotional resilience. They will build positive relationships with pupils and school staff, in order to offer a holistic approach to addressing pupils’ wellbeing difficulties. They may also be required to work closely with the pupil’s family, offering them guidance and support by providing them with relevant psychological knowledge and emotional wellbeing tools.  They will report to Director of Pupil wellbeing who has oversight of the wellbeing service and act as a key point of contact for the wellbeing team at Senior School.

  • The key aim of the role is to work closely with pupils to help address emotional wellbeing difficulties and improve any barriers to pupil wellbeing, ensuring our pupils are thriving and learning. The wellbeing practitioner will work closely with school pastoral staff to offer a holistic approach to improving pupil’s wellbeing.
  • The successful candidate will play an important role in the [wellbeing team] and build positive collaborative relationships with the wellbeing team, pastoral staff and wider school staff in order to prioritise pupils’ wellbeing. They will raise awareness and education on key mental health issues impacting young people today.
  • The role is fast paced, varied and rewarding and requires working with the network around the pupil(family, school, relevant professionals.)

This is an exciting time to join the team, our wellbeing team has grown, and we have a diverse range of staff who offer different experiences and modalities. Each member of the team has a small caseload and works in different ways to support pupils with their wellbeing.  The role offers the chance to be part of a team that is actively working to raise awareness about mental health and remove any barriers to accessing support.

  • To work as a member of the wellbeing team to provide support to pupils with their emotional wellbeing.
  • To meet regularly with the Director of pupil wellbeing to review current cases, reflect on practices and contribute to whole school wellbeing practices.
  • To assess and deliver evidence-based interventions to children and young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties.
  • To work in partnership, supporting children & young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties and their families in the self-management of presenting difficulties.
  • Through case management and supervision with Director of pupil wellbeing, to escalate cases where the level of need becomes beyond scope, or more severe, supporting the young person and family to access more appropriate services to meet their needs.
  • To provide a range of information and support for evidence based psychological treatments, via workshops, assemblies and presentations.
  • To plan and deliver group sessions on agreed topics related to wellbeing and positive mental health (e.g. anxiety and mindfulness groups)
  • To attend Pastoral Team meetings and contribute with sharing learning and innovative practice.
  • To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the relevant safeguarding legislation, guidance and best practice.
  • To maintain up-to date knowledge of legislation, national and local policies and procedures in relation to children and young people’s mental health.
  • To work closely with members of the safeguarding team to support the work of the DSLs in ensuring that all children are kept safe and protected. This includes working and liaising with external agencies, including but not limited to Social Services and CAMHS.
  • To work closely with parents and families to help support pupil emotional well-being and improving any barriers to pupil wellbeing, ensuring our pupils are thriving and learning.
  • To maintain regular communication with key staff and promote a whole school and child centred approach to improving pupil wellbeing.
  • To build up knowledge and understanding of local resources and community and statutory services, including Mental Health Teams, CAMHS and voluntary services, and communicate effectively with them in the best interests of the child and family. To signpost as required.
  • To operate from an inclusive values base, which recognises and respects diversity and promotes a sense of belonging for all. 

     

Person Specification

Education & Qualification

  • Postgraduate Certificate/ Diploma in Child and Young Persons Psychological Wellbeing Practice from an accredited training provider (Essential)
  • Psychology or other health /social care/youth related undergraduate degree (Essential)
  • Training in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, counselling or within a specific psychological therapy. (Desirable)

Knowledge & Skills

  • Demonstrates an understanding of children and young people’s mental health and how it may present.
  • Knowledge of child and adolescent development and the role of the family in supporting children and young people’s emotional well-being
  • Understanding of systems and contexts in which children and young people are likely to live.
  • Knowledge of Safeguarding: Familiarity with, and ability to comply with, the London Child Protection Procedures and protocols for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.
  • Understand the need to become familiar and comply with school and local protocols and systems for information sharing.
  • Good understanding of confidentiality and the boundaries of confidentiality in a school.
  • Knowledge of and ability to comply with required professional boundaries and codes of conduct.

Experience

  • Experience of working with children and young as a Child Wellbeing Practitioner or as a Mental Health Practitioner in health or education settings.
  • Experience in providing CBT based interventions for children and young people experiencing, mild to moderate anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties.
  • Experience of making written referrals to Children’s Social Care, and following up as appropriate.
  • Demonstrates high standards in written communication.
  • Able to develop good therapeutic relationships with clients.
  • Experience of working in mental health or social care or related services
  • Ability to manage own caseload and time.

Qualities

  • High level of enthusiasm and motivation.
  • Ability to work within a team and foster good working relationships with colleagues inside and beyond the service.
  • Ability to use supervision and personal development positively and effectively.
  • Good organisational skills and a flexible adaptable approach in response to working in a fast-paced environment.
  • Regard for others and respect for individual rights of autonomy and confidentiality. Tact, sensitivity, and the ability to handle confidential material with discretion.
  • An ability to communicate succinctly, effectively, and attractively both orally and in writing.
  • An interest in and empathy with the ethos and aims of independent education

Benefits

CHILD PROTECTION

This role will not normally involve unsupervised contact with pupils; however in the context of his/her employment the member of staff will frequently be in the presence of children and will therefore have to have appropriate levels of training in child protection.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

The terms and conditions below do not form part of a contract and are for information only. Should you be offered and accept employment with Highgate School you will receive a contract setting out in full your terms and conditions. All offers of employment are subject to the receipt of references satisfactory to us, proof of eligibility to work in the UK and DBS checks.

Hours of Work

Full time, term time permanent role based on a 40 hour contract (one hour unpaid lunch in addition to this). There is a need to be flexible about hours in order to carry out these duties and responsibilities effectively and no additional payment is made in this respect.

Probationary Period

This appointment will be subject to the completion of a probationary period of six months to the satisfaction of the Governors.

Lunch Period

The lunch break is unpaid and does not form part of your working hours.  A complimentary lunch is available when the Dining Hall is in operation.

Holidays

Academic holidays as they occur during the duration of the contract. The salary for this role includes an element of holiday pay in respect of statutory annual holiday.

Pension

The School operate an Aviva Aptis pension Scheme whereby the employee contributes 5% and the employer 21%

Leisure Facilities

Subject always to the needs of pupils and School’s operations, staff are offered free access at stipulated times to the School’s sports facilities.

Confidentiality

The need for absolute confidentiality and discretion, both within Highgate and the wider community, must be understood.

Dress Code

Teachers and support staff are expected to set an example to pupils and should dress appropriately at all times.

Smoking

Smoking, including vaping, is not allowed on or immediately outside any School premises (the footprint of the buildings and the grounds) or in areas where smoking might be seen by parents or pupils during working hours.

Health and Safety

Highgate takes its obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act seriously and the postholder will be required to comply with all aspects of Highgate’s Health and Safety Policy, particularly in relation to safe working practices.  All staff must keep up to date with Highgate’s Health and Safety Policies which are regularly updated and posted on the Staff Intranet.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Highgate is strongly committed to inclusion and is an equal opportunities employer. We aim to create a welcoming, respectful and safe environment for all members of our community, from every ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability/disability, religion and background.  We know that more diverse teams are stronger teams, and that the more inclusive we are, the more our staff and pupils will feel a sense of belonging and will thrive. To enable us to make any reasonable adjustments, please let us know what you would require when you submit your application.

Data Protection

Highgate staff are expected to adhere to the Data Protection legislation at all times. Our Privacy Notice is available on the recruitment portal


Working at Highgate

A culture of community, kindness and belonging

Highgate is a caring, open-minded community, where we promote kindness, empathy and friendship. Everyone who works and studies with us deserves to feel they are part of a welcoming environment that enables them to be themselves and to thrive as individuals.

Our community extends beyond the school, through partnerships, charity work and our commitment to equality, inclusion and sustainability. All members of our school community are encouraged to look outwards and play an active role.

In a recent ISI inspection (Dec 2021), it was noted that “Pupils show exceptional respect for, and appreciate diversity within the school and wider community, and their own and other cultures, demonstrating sensitivity and tolerance to those from different backgrounds and traditions.”

Staff wellbeing

Highgate is committed to staff wellbeing, which we promote by encouraging a strong work-life balance; trying our best to support flexible working requests; providing a nutritious complimentary lunch in the dining hall; and offering access to sporting facilities including our recently renovated swimming pool.

The Staff Wellbeing Committee, with representatives across the School, meets regularly to drive forward initiatives, and a selection of staff have been trained as Mental-Health First Aiders.

We encourage an open culture throughout our school, with regular staff surveys, action committees and opportunities to feedback. We strive for continual learning and improvement, and staff training and development is paramount. There are opportunities to participate in the wider life of our school, such as taking part in trips or societies and getting involved in partnership projects.

More details about working at Highgate can be found here:

Work with us    Aims + Ethos


Charitable work and sustainability

As an independent school, we want to use our position as a charity effectively: to make high-quality education accessible to as many children as possible – through our bursary programme at Highgate and through our work with local state schools. We have partnerships with over 60 state schools across 7 London boroughs, and we are the principal educational sponsor for London Academy of Excellence, Tottenham – an academically-selective state sixth form in a community where such opportunities are lacking.

Alongside this, our staff and pupils undertake charitable activities throughout the year. These range from staff giving up their time to neighbourhood schools and charitable organisations, focused fundraising campaigns, to pupils undertaking community work in the local area or further afield.

As a school, we have a central role to play in educating our pupils, staff and parents about the importance of environmental sustainability. We are taking positive action to adapt our operational performance to tackle the negative effects of climate change. We encourage all our staff to reflect upon their personal and professional practices, to support our environmental agenda and to make positive changes wherever possible.

Application procedure

  • Closing Date: 16th October 2023
  • Timing of interviews: W/c 16th October or sooner

Contact:  Recruitment Team are happy to answer any questions about this post.

Early Application: Applications will be considered ‘as and when’ received and we may close the vacancy if we appoint before the closing date.

Apply here

Inclusion

We know that more diverse teams are stronger teams, and that the more inclusive we are, the more our staff and pupils will feel a sense of belonging and will thrive. To enable us to make reasonable adjustments, please let us know of any disabilities (including neuro-divergence) when you submit your application.

Safeguarding

As this role will have regular unsupervised contact with children you must, if appointed, comply with Highgate’s Safeguarding Policy and Staff Code of Conduct. If in the course of carrying out the duties of the post the post holder becomes aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety and welfare of our pupils, these concerns must be reported immediately in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy.  If whilst in the post, Highgate becomes aware of any safeguarding concerns to staff, pupils or the community; these will need to be followed up in line with the safeguarding policy and code of conduct which is underpinned by KCSE and other legislation. These concerns may need to be shared with other agencies.  A copy of these policies will accompany all offers of employment. Training will also be provided to all staff to support Safeguarding practice.

Please read before you apply

Highgate is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to this post, including checks with past employers, the Disclosure and Barring Service and overseas police check if necessary. Candidates from overseas must provide information about their past conduct, for example, by providing documents issued by overseas teaching authorities.

Please note that this role is ‘exempt’ from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore, you are required to declare any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not ‘protected’ (i.e. filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide details of all unspent convictions and those that would not be filtered, prior to the date of the interview.

In accordance with the latest guidance from KCSIE, we shall be conducting online searches on any candidates who are shortlisted.

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