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Secondary SEAL: Professional development

The importance of SEAL for adults

An effective whole-school approach to promote social and emotional skills takes the needs of pupils and staff seriously because:

  • evidence from the US shows that programmes which include staff development and education are more likely to have an impact on pupil behaviour than those that do not;
  • social and emotional skills are as central to the performance and emotional well-being of staff as they are to the learning and well-being of young people;
  • teaching is fundamentally a social activity – staff need high levels of social and emotional skills to do their job effectively, and having higher levels makes the job more enjoyable and manageable. These skills contribute to staff well-being, and thus to staff retention; they help to lower levels of stress, and reduce time off work and premature retirement.

The development of pupils' social and emotional skills involves both the formal and the informal curriculum, and it is therefore important that aspects of planned professional development include all school personnel, including lunchtime supervisors, cover supervisors, administrative staff, technicians and any other staff who have direct contact with pupils.