SAS raise national awareness of supporting staff through the menopause

Mandy Gallagher, Head of nursing at Schools Advisory Service, was interviewed by BBC Breakfast News earlier this month raising the importance of providing support for school staff affected by the menopause. Around a quarter of teachers, including senior leaders, are female and aged between 40 and 54. This group represents some of the country’s most talented and experienced classroom practitioners.

The news coverage came as government tsar Dr. Ros Altmann seeks to raise awareness of the issues faced by women in the workplace who are experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Mandy said that staff affected by the menopause are often “suffering quietly” when balancing the demands of work and home life – including bringing up children and supporting aging parents. This can often be to the detriment of their own personal health and wellbeing. Many women may put the common symptoms of fatigue, hot flushes and increased irritability, down to the stress of these demands, rather than realising that there may be an underlying reason for the way they are feeling.

“As a nation” says Mandy “we invest thousands of pounds in our female school leaders and teaching staff, all of whom form a valuable part of society. Indeed, teachers and leaders are key to the success of schools and their pupils. Headteachers and governing bodies are increasingly recognising the risk of long-term absence amongst their most talented and experienced teachers due to these health issues and a lack of support. Prioritising support for these colleagues requires a culture that gives individuals the confidence that they can discuss these sensitive issues with their line manager and that support will follow.”

Schools advisory services’ nursing team is placing an increased focus on providing confidential support to client schools, both through access to online resources and confidential telephone consultations with experienced nursing staff.

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