COVID-19 Well-being Support for School Staff

COVID-19 Well-being Support for School Staff (including bereavement support)

Nothing about our current daily lives is normal at the moment. As a result, we’re all probably having good days and bad days – and sometimes even on the same day. But we’ve got you and help is at hand to get you through.

Support for School Staff

We encourage you to make use of the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), PAM Assist, which is here to provide you with a completely independent and confidential personal support service. 

If you work in any BC maintained school, or in an academy which has purchased the PAM Assist EAP package, you have access to all of the following support:

  • 24/7 advice line. Call 0800 882 4102 anytime night or day if you have something on your mind. Trained advisors are on the other end of the line to listen and give advice on whatever life throws at you.
  • Funded counselling. You can access up to four sessions of counselling between yourself and PAM Assist without being referred. Call the above number to discuss options with an advisor and to arrange a call with a triage nurse.
  • 30 minute webinars. Join live webinars on a range of topics including, how to maintain a positive mindset and being resilient during isolation. Recorded webinars will be available online to watch afterwards
  • Online cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) support. Access a selection of CBT tools and worksheets to help you better able manage challenges.
  • Online resources. Visit the PAM Assist website to browse a range of articles and information aimed at helping you through this tough period.

When contacting PAM Assist, our username is ‘Bucks1’ and password is ‘Schools’

Everyone working in a school setting (regardless if your school has access to PAM Assist or not), can contact the Education Support Charity and/or the Educational Psychology Team for guidance and support.

  • Oxford Health: Healthy Mind Bucks offer you a range of free NHS, tried and tested psychological therapies for anyone over 18 and follow a stepped care model. The self-referral telephone number is 01865 901 600 with telephone opening hours of Monday -Thursday 7am-5:30pm or Friday 7am-5pm, or through the online self-referral form
  • A new website has been designed to keep teachers across Bucks (and beyond) connected during this uniquely challenging period. The site has been designed by a web designer, Richard Robinson, with the content developed by a team of teachers and educational psychologists from Aspire and Buckinghamshire Council, overseen by Debra Rutley, Executive Headteacher of Aspire. The site has been shaped by requests from educators and leaders across Bucks and will continue to be developed in the light of suggestions and ideas
  • Education Support charity helpline is 0800 056 2561, which all school staff can call for support. This phoneline operates 24/7 and is manned by fully trained counsellors.  They support people working in any educational
  • organisation whether nursery, primary, secondary, further or higher education. Download a poster communicating the helpline information to staff
  • You can also contact the Educational Psychology Service if you feel it would be helpful
  • Looking after each other & ourselves: A guide to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of staff at schools and colleges during periods of disruption Anna Freud Resources

Useful online resources and apps

Support for School Leaders

  • The Well-being Support and Advice Line 01296 383 219 is a confidential helpline staffed by Buckinghamshire’s Educational Psychology Team. The helpline is primarily intended to provide school leaders (including headteachers, deputy and assistant headteachers, SENCOs and other members of each senior leadership team) with a safe and confidential space in which they can talk through the challenges, stresses and frustrations of operating schools and settings during this unprecedented situation.
  • The Educational Psychologists are professionally trained in listening to and supporting individuals through pressurised and emotionally-fraught situations. There is no time limit for calls, and there will be no formal notes recorded from discussions unless requested and agreed in advance by both parties.
  • The value in making use of the Well-being Support and Advice Line may be in having the opportunity simply to talk through circumstances and concerns, and equally the Educational Psychologists can also provide information or resources should individuals have specific well-being questions and issues that they wish to raise.
  • Although many conversations through the helpline will stand alone, more regular contact can be established if both parties feel this would be appropriate and beneficial. Furthermore, where necessary the Educational Psychologists can provide guidance on accessing more intensive medium- and long-term support.
  • The Well-Being Support and Advice Line will be open from 9- 5, Monday to Friday. It will be in operation throughout the school holidays (excluding public holidays) as well as during term-time.
  • Conversations outside of the usual operating hours are possible by arrangement – please use the email address to contact the Educational Psychology Team.
  • If individuals would prefer to receive support via email or video call rather than by phone please email .

Alternatively, contact the Educational Psychology Management Team directly:

Tim Jones

Principal Educational Psychologist

Jenny Feeney

Senior Educational Psychologist – Aylesbury

Shami Rait

Senior Educational Psychologist – Chiltern and South Bucks

Keith Willsher

Senior Educational Psychologist – Wycombe

Support for Staff Members who have suffered a Bereavement

  • The Educational Psychology team has curated some really helpful guidance for you on how best to manage bereavement and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers different situations and the difficult emotions bereaved people may have to deal with.
  • In the event of a loss of a colleague, the HR Team are here to help. Contact the Service Desk who will guide you through. If your school buys into the PAM Assist EAP package, you will be encouraged to contact PAM Assist to discuss with an experienced advisor the best support to put in place for yourself and your team.
  • Funded bereavement counselling is available through PAM Assist for schools that buy the PAM Assist EAP package. You can talk to an experienced bereavement counsellor for any kind of bereavement including family, friend, colleague or resident. PAM Assist can also offer support for managers of affected teams.
  • Cruse, a national bereavement charity, has a dedicated helpline manned by experienced volunteers. Call 0808 808 1677 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they’re open until 8pm.
  • Cruse, a national bereavement charity, have easy read factsheets on grief, isolation, trauma, coping with talk of death and dying and funerals and memorials.

Supporting pupils

Please see information and resources in the Well-being support for pupils page

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