Resilience in Return:
Supporting Staff with
Successful School Reopening

It’s Been A Long Year

It’s been nearly a year since Boris Johnson announced that UK schools would close to all students except those of keyworkers and vulnerable children. In the months that followed, schools and teachers scrambled to not only provide online education to pupils learning from home, but also make things safe for those still in school.

This was arguably the most dramatic shift our education system has ever seen.

In September 2020, the strangest summer holiday on record ended with children returning to school for the autumn term amid a raft of new guidelines of safe practices; only to be told that schools would close again in the spring term due to the UK’s “lockdown 3.0”.

How Things Have Changed

In less than a year our schools have become a vastly different working environment. An entirely new system of learning has had to be created behind the scenes, while enhanced cleaning processes and social distancing procedures, which seemed strange and alien at the beginning, were implemented on site to keep schools safely open for remaining children and the staff working there.

Staff members have had to put together packed lunches for children entitled to free school meals, and often learn to work with new technology to provide simultaneous online and in person learning. With children’s wellbeing at the heart of what they do, many teachers have also implemented a system of personal check-ins with their home learning pupils to ensure that all is well.

All this while needing to work around increased staff absences due to COVID-19 itself and isolation requirements.

Not since the war has society had to adjust to so many changes, and educational staff have borne the brunt of many of them.

The Impact on Staff

In effect, many educational professionals have doubled their workload and ventured into new professional territory causing anxiety, stress, and intense pressure.

Sadly, a report by UK charity Education Support found that more than half of educational professionals felt their work was not appreciated by the general public (Education Support Covid-19 Report).

 52% of teachers, and 50% of all education professionals, felt that their mental health and wellbeing has declined during the pandemic.

Schools reopening again, hopefully for good, from the 8th of March, will likely feel like a mixed blessing for teachers and other school staff, bringing with it anxiety as well as relief that things might be returning to some kind of normal.

Resilience, Flexibility and Adaptability

Resilience, the ability to adapt quickly to new circumstances and routines, as well as adapting to student’s differing learning needs are all listed as some of the key attributes that educational staff will need to facilitate pupils successful return to school (Education Support Covid-19 Report).

“To fight for change tomorrow we need to build resilience today.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Employers and agencies should look for these characteristics in new candidates as well as finding ways to nurture current staff resilience, to not only provide a positive return for pupils, but also to protect and tend the mental health of staff.

How to Support Your Staff in The Return to School

Here are some of JMK’s top tips for nurturing resilience in educational workers:

  1. Foster an environment of openness where staff feel able to talk about their issues and know exactly where to turn in the event of a problem.
  2. Encourage staff to pair up or form groups. If you have placed more than one candidate in the same setting why not introduce them so they can support each other?
  3. Ensure that the basics are covered; make sure pay is correct and on time, every time… one less thing for staff to worry about.
  4. Celebrate wins, however small, and let your candidates know how much they’re appreciated.

JMK provides a solid foundation of support and payroll funding which helps you deliver outstanding educational recruitment and employment for your candidates and clients.


We provide both payroll outsourcing and umbrella services and can advise on the right option for you.

Our exclusive comparator tool can help you choose the best payroll option for your agency and your contractors. It takes less than 10 minutes!

Our PSC Flex Service is designed for IR35-caught contractors with their own PSC who want to continue to work on contracts of their choice. PSC Flex allows contractors to process outside IR35 HMRC payments through their own company, while we take care of any PAYE payroll which is deemed inside IR35.

Remember – you can start your contractors transition now, and they will retain limited company status right up until the deadline. It’s free!

Talk to us to get the process started and relax knowing that you and your contractors are completely prepared for the deadline in April.

Stay safe and stay compliant!
The Team At JMK

Since 2002, JMK have been compliantly consolidating back-office, accountancy and payroll functions. 

We have evolved to provide a range of expert services; such as Professional Employer Organisation (PEO), or Back Office Support (BOS) or Funding, becoming a leading provider to the contracting industry.

We know every agency is different in some shape or form, even if only by a little, but important bit. Combining our knowledge and experience of multiple sectors enables JMK to support you all from recruiters and payroll, through to finance, compliance and management.

With JMK as your trusted partner, even the smallest team can process the largest payroll, regardless of payroll type.

Have a look at the wide range of services our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) or Back Office Support (BOS) can provide to you and your business, it is far more than just payroll and finance.

Don't miss your Free Reports

Complimentary payroll comparison report
Play Video
Complimentary financial forecast report
Play Video


Join our free iPhone 15 Giveaway!

If you are a recruitment agency and interested in a chance to win a FREE iPhone15, please click the button below.

Please note that this giveaway is only applicable to recruitment agencies who place temporary or contract candidates.