What is a ‘whole school approach’?
A ‘whole school approach’ addresses the needs of pupils, staff and the wider community across the curriculum and the entire learning environment within a school. It aims to develop an ethos and environment in a school that supports learning and promotes the health, well-being and safety of all.
Crucially in involves buy-in at the top of the school from Head Teachers, SLT and Governors, right through to the whole school, rather than relying solely on single champions that might have a personal interest in the subject.
Steps towards building a whole school approach include: staff leadership, including placing responsibility for the work with a working group or within a senior manager’s work strand; having a dedicated champion for the work, positioning the work to link to school policy frameworks, including schemes of work and priority areas such as attainment, good behaviour, child protection, anti-bullying and social inclusion; working directly with students through input to the curriculum, peer-led advocacy and mentoring; researching and consulting with young people, staff and parents to gather data and achieve universal ‘buy in’; increasing awareness of the issues through staff training; developing a ‘shared language’ within the school which engages with human rights and gender equality[i].