SCHOOL leaders at Unity City Academy celebrated on Friday after successfully gaining the Teach Well School Gold Award: Coronavirus Pandemic.

The award is for schools which show particular excellence at taking care of their staff’s physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.

To date, 70 schools across the country have achieved the Gold Award for their exceptional work at protecting their staff.

Unity City Academy received the award for their work in mitigating any concerns staff had over their return to work, including setting up a rota system to make sure any contact time was limited.

During the lockdown, school leaders arranged a number of team meetings and virtual drop in sessions so staff did not feel isolated, and organised regular staff quiz nights to allow for virtual socialising.

They have also set up a Google Classroom for all staff dedicated to mental and physical wellbeing, offering hints and tips for a healthier life as well as professional information, advice and guidance.

School leaders also sent staff postcards to share their appreciation of the hard work done to date, which were greatly appreciated.

School leaders regularly survey staff, as well as students and parents, regarding workload, tasks set and mental wellbeing, and use this feedback to make amendments to the school offer.

Andy Rodgers, Principal at Unity City Academy, part of the Academies Enterprise Trust, said: “I am so proud of the work our staff do every day to offer our students the best quality of education possible. But we have to make sure they don’t sacrifice their own wellbeing in doing this, and that we do everything in our power to protect them.

“We make a real effort to support our staff, and this has become more important than ever over the past few months. Receiving this award shows that our work has been recognised, and shows our staff that we will always look out for their best interests.”

Julian Drinkall, CEO at AET, said: “Congratulations to the team at Unity City Academy on this fine achievement. Their commitment to ensuring the best environment for all staff is inspirational, and highlights how important it is to have the highest standards at every level of school life.

“At AET we want our students to go on and live remarkable lives, and schools like Unity City Academy show that this is becoming a reality. This award is fair recognition of the fantastic job they are doing.”