Schools step up support for female teachers

Primary schools in Hartlepool are aiming to help ensure staff receive the appropriate help and support when experiencing the menopause.

By Tom Patterson
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 4:29 pm
Charlotte Haylock.
Charlotte Haylock.

The five schools are among seven in the Teeside area which will unveil a new help blueprint – along with trade union colleagues at a special signing ceremony at Ayresome Primary School, Middlesbrough on Monday – World Menopause Day.

All the schools are part of Ad Astra Academy Trust and Chris Simmons, chairman of the trust board, said: “Over 90% of the workforce in our schools are female so it’s hugely important to have support measures in place for the menopause.

“We are committed to improving the wellbeing of all of our staff, and we have a duty to manage age-related issues effectively.”

The new policy includes training for headteachers to improve understanding, flexible working arrangements and commiting to improving working conditions.”

Dawn Nicholson, Unison’s area organiser, said: “Over the years, many women have left the workplace unnecessarily due a lack of support.

“Ad Astra Academy Trust is undertaking a proactive approach to the menopause – by doing so, women will feel more supported at work, and it is anticipated that absences due to menopausal symptoms will be reduced and valued staff will be retained.”

Charlotte Haylock, executive headteacher at West View Primary School, in Hartlepool, said: “The trust believes that menopause should not be taboo or ‘hidden’. We want everyone to understand what menopause is, and to be able to talk about it openly, without embarrassment.”

The seven primary schools involved are Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View, in Hartlepool, Ayresome, in Middlesbrough, and Crooksbarn and Rosebrook, in Stockton.