FitBack go back to school

More than 700 sick days have been taken by 35 teachers and support workers at Greenhead High, Keighley, West Yorkshire, because of problems like sciatica, trapped nerves and slipped discs in the last 12 months.

Had the school covered for every day’s absence with supply teachers, it would have cost a £140,000.

Now headteacher Tricia McCarthy has enlisted the help of Jonathan Daniel, of Harrogate-based FitBack, as part of her Fit for Work programme – believed to be the first scheme of its kind at a school in the country.

Mr Daniel is holding advice clinics at the school to try to improve staff health and well-being. The school has paid for two on-site physiotherapy clinic days involving sessions with teaching and support staff who are, or have been, suffering from injuries and taking time off.

Mrs McCarthy, who sought similar advice to cure a 20-year back problem, said: “It certainly worked for me, so we started to think about how many of our people were having time off.

“I had no concept whatsoever of just how many days we were losing and quickly realised it was an opportune time to tackle the situation.”

The scheme has been greeted with enthusiasm by staff and further back pain prevention workshops, along with exercise classes, are now planned.

Mrs McCarthy is hoping it will also help drive up pupils’ results after a disappointing Ofsted report in January which graded it “inadequate”.

She said: “It’s all about delivering consistency in the way our staff work with and support students. If we’re to continue to raise standards, we need our people teaching in class and other key staff supporting the students.”


FitBack have supported Morrisons over a number of years, to manage various Musculoskeletal health issues, by providing proactive and work focused advice that benefits both our colleagues and the business

Ella Collins
People Manager, Occupational Health & Wellbeing
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

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