University of Limerick
McLaughlin_2020_Whole_wellbeing.pdf (1.81 MB)

A whole school approach to wellbeing: an investigation into staff wellbeing in post primary schools

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posted on 2021-01-26, 09:30 authored by Angela McLaughlin
The promotion of Wellbeing through Education in Ireland has been established by introducing a preventative, whole school approach which was “informed by international research and practice” (DES, 2018, p.1). This study intended to focus on the gap in research pertaining to the Whole School Approach to Wellbeing in Ireland, specifically focusing on the staff wellbeing element of this collaborative approach. The aim of the research was to examine whether there is solely a support for staff wellbeing, rather than a provision in the Department of Education and Skills Wellbeing Framework. The research design involved an interpretivist approach, with a single-case design employing semi-structured interviews to gather data. Six participants were interviewed from the case school and consisted of two teachers, two Special Needs Assistants and two members of management to gain staff perspective. Thematic analysis was used to determine the key findings from this study. As a result, four themes emerged; defining wellbeing, experience of the Whole School Approach to wellbeing, determining a culture of wellbeing and areas of opportunity for the approach in schools. Analysis has shown that an emphasis upon student wellbeing has a direct impact upon the wellbeing of staff. The results indicated that while there has been extensive ‘information giving’ from policy makers, there has not been sufficient provision for staff wellbeing set out within the parameters of the Wellbeing Framework. While the focus on wellbeing has indeed created more awareness of wellbeing for staff, the evidence of practices which provide for their wellbeing is lacking. The researcher concludes that staff perceives the promotion of wellbeing as a worthwhile endeavour on a whole school level but the data suggests that there is more work required at a policy level for this to be effective. This research may inform policy and practice about how best to collaborate on policy implementation and addresses suggestions for improvements to meet the Department of Education and Skills vision for a Whole School Approach to Wellbeing.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Comiskey, Stephen





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