Teacher wellbeing app hopes to be ‘virtual staff room’

Above & Beyond is a new teacher wellbeing platform and the brainchild of former headteacher Alison Kriel

A new teacher wellbeing platform hopes to be something of an antidote to staff weighed down by work-related stress and pressure.

The Above & Beyond app – developed by a former headteacher Alison Kriel – hopes to bring teachers together to champion their everyday successes, share struggles and seek support.

Kriel was a headteacher of a primary school in Hackney, helping to transform the school from one of London’s worst-performing to one of its educational success stories. She puts investing in teacher wellbeing as the action with the greatest impact.

Citing a survey by the NASUWT published in February 2022 that found that 91% of teachers polled said the job had adversely affected their mental health, the new platform hopes to combat that with a place for teachers to champion their successes. There is too little time to take stock of achievements and support teacher wellbeing, Kriel says, with assessments and school inspections often just over the horizon.

Alison Kriel is a former headteacher of a primary school in Hackney

Alison hopes it can become a virtual staff room for teachers “to meet, chat about what’s gone well or what hasn’t, and uplift one another”. She says that Twitter and Instagram “come with all the wider pressures, negativity and ‘always on’ nature” – adding that the Above and Beyond platform is only accessible to teachers and those in education.

The platform says “anyone who has worked in a school knows that there is so much hard work being done every day, which is just not seen in the external reports or league tables. There’s so much to learn from, empathise with and show off about every day”.

It provides groups for specialist topics, such as safeguarding, diversity and inclusion, and head teacher forums. It also share regular podcasts, virtual events and networking opportunities.

Read more: Online course helps teachers understand mental health impact of social media

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