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Being a member of the Pike Fold Team!

Pike Fold's Employee Value Proposition

At Pike Fold it is our ultimate goal to create and foster a culturally diverse working environment that is free from the stigma attached to poor mental health. We are champions of positive workplace well-being and encourage all of our employees to find a positive work life balance that enables them to excel both professionally and personally.

We welcome fun & quirky workplace vibes which promote team work and collaborative working to help us all achieve one common goal; an outstanding education for the pupils of Pike Fold!

We recognise that all staff are individuals, each with their own journey and goals. We work alongside you wherever possible to shape the future of your career with us through ongoing appraisal and review systems.

Here at Pike Fold, you are not just a resource, you are a valued assett! Your skills and abilities are the vital tools which will deliver and support an outstanding education for all of our pupils, and when you work for us we will support you in developing your skills set to it's maximum potential.

Perks of Pike Fold

Even though we are a Local Authority Maintained Primary School, we try our upmost to give our staff members the best possible employee experience. An experience you will possibly never receive at any other maintained school.

We are innovative and love to challenge new ideas and concepts!

See the below summary of the current Pike Fold Perks available to all employes....

Employee Offer

  • CPD Opportunities including Performance Management as standard
  • CPD Cycle for support staff including an annual appraisal
  • Opportunities for TAs to be observed on a voluntary basis
  • Opportunities for TAs to job rotate enabling upskilling
  • Wellbeing draw for leisure time
  • Wellbeing draw for ‘kitty’
  • Free flu jabs and eye test via the SMART Clinic
  • Dress down days
  • Hot chocolate Fridays
  • Time for new TAs (NTA time) to get to know each other all year
  • Lunch provided on inset days
  • Lots of enriching events such as summer and winter fun days
  • A fun and inclusive, caring organisation

•    Access to free counselling and support

Best Practice with Teaching Assistants Award 2022-2025

We are proud to announce that we are now nationally recognised for our outstanding practice in the effective use of Teaching Assistants accross the school!

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Mindful Employer

We are a mindful employer!

Pike Fold Primary School recognise that, in the UK, people experiencing mental ill health continue to report stigma and discrimination. We are committed to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues are able to talk about mental health. We are also committed to ensuring that our employees feel safe in disclosing any mental health conditions and confident that they will be properly supported and offered reasonable adjustments when required.

As an employer we are committed to:

ï‚· Providing non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental ill health
ï‚· Not make assumptions that a person with a mental health condition will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant.
ï‚· Showing positive and enabling attitudes to all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition. This will include positive statements in local recruitment literature.
ï‚· Ensuring all line managers have access to information and training about managing mental health in the workplace.
ï‚· Ensuring that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health conditions and The Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills. Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental ill health will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.

The Schools Mental Health Champion is Kim Nickson – School Business Manager.  Kim is located on the ground floor (Finance & HR office) and can be contacted on ext number 208 or at

Who can you speak to?

The schools Mental Health Champion is the first point of contact for all employees within Pike Fold.

However, if you feel more comfortable speaking with your line manager or another member of SLT please do so.

Line managers and SLT information is listed below:

Head Teacher – All staff
Mrs McKeever – 1:1 staff and ARC staff
Mr Morris – KS2 staff
Ms Hawcroft – KS1 & EYFS staff
Mr Gardom – KS1 staff
Mr Graham – Upper KS2 staff
Ms Nickson – All support staff including TA’s, cleaners, LO’s, ASC team, Admin team

If at all you feel that the school are not meeting your needs you can seek support from our Chair of Governors, Smyth Harper. He can be contacted at

Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aider in the workplace is the go-to person for anyone who is going through some form of mental health issue.  The first aider will be present to help guide the person in distress to the relevant help that they need. Mental Health First Aiders are not counsellers but can offer initial mental health first aid for staff members in distress through a comprehensive framework provided by in depth training.

Your Mental Health First Aiders are:

Mrs Farnell-Hill - Head Teacher

Ms Kim Nickson - School Business Manager 

**Mental Health First Aiders will respond to requests for support outside of the normal working day, as your health is paramount to us, please ensure urgent requests out of hours are made via phonecall or text message**


Supporting you throughout Covid19

Staff/Children/Parents/Carers/visitors/contractors are not permitted to come into school if they are displaying any of the symptoms of coronavirus.

Staff who are working off site MUST complete a workplace risk assessment and email this to your line manager for review and approval. As many of our homes are not designed for working from home, some of our settings are not ideal and so a common sense approach should be applied when you complete your risk assessment.

There is no increased risk from DSE work for those working at home temporarily. So in this situation a basic assessment of the workplace environment provided by the employee is sufficient (please see link above).

Try to aim for this type of set up 

Some other useful tips that you MUST do are:

  • breaking up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity
  • avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
  • getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises, we reccomend you do these exercises at least every hour, especially if your workstation is not ideal.
  • avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time

Managing your working day - our expectiations

Working from home is a huge change for lots of staff, and this involves more involvement with ICT than ever before!

Many of us are trying to balance working from home with home school, and whilst this is not ideal, we are being more flexible than ever before and just asking you to take a balanced and sensible approach to your workload.

If it helps for you to complete tasks whilst children are sleeping, then this is fine, however please bear in mind that other staff may not be working at the same time so please allow extra reponse time for emails etc.

The truth is, that everyone is feeling their way in this new normal and there is no right way to do it. The important thing is to work out what might suit your family situation and your resources and to be aware of where you can seek help.

Our top tips to create a succesful working from home day include:

  • Don't just wake up and dive in - allow yourself some time to plan the day ahead and think about your aims and goals for the day
  • No matter how tempting, avoid working in your pyjamas all day - working from home is such a big change for everybody already so try not to lose all of your daily routines at once.
  • If you are struggling to keep tabs on what needs to be done and when, try creating a daily WEB list. W - what you want to achieve - E - what you expect to achieve - and B - what you had Better achieve that day.
  • Ensure that you take a proper lunch break and take the time to make something nice to eat, awy from your working area if possible. Go outside (no further than your garden) and get some natural light and fresh air. You may even want to squeeze in some brief exercises to keep the brain power flowing.
  • Finsih work at a sensible time, and pack away your things or leave your work area so that you are not being reminded of work for the remainder of the evening. This will ensure you get a mental break.
  • Try to set distinct times for working and schooling. Deviding your attention may leave both things suffering and none of us want that.
  • Keep in touch with your work colleagues - the weekly Zoom meetings I am holding will help with socialisation and wellbeing, especially some of the team building games I have planned!

Most of all, during this unprecedented time, be gentle and kind to yourself. 

Looking after your mental wellbeing

Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.

At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time such as:

  • look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
  • spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
  • try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden

You can also go for a walk or exercise outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others.

It is important to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Further guidance is also available on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

What steps can you take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?

Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use a NHS recommended helpline.

We reccomend that you try to limit your intake of news, as sometimes this can further exacerbate stress, fear and anxiety levels and can have a detrimental impact upon sleep.


Sleep Guidelines

Sleep is a critical biological process, and the truth is that it’s always important. When confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, though, sleep becomes even more essential because of its wide-ranging benefits for physical and mental health.

Set Your Schedule and Routine

Establishing a routine can facilitate a sense of normalcy even in abnormal times. It’s easier for your mind and body to acclimatise  to a consistent sleep schedule, which is why health experts have long recommended avoiding major variation in your daily sleep times. 

Sleep-specific aspects of your daily schedule should include: 

  • Wake-Up Time: Set your alarm, bypass the snooze button, and have a fixed time to get every day started. 
  • Wind-Down Time: This is an important time to relax and get ready for bed. It can involve things like light reading, stretching, and meditating along with preparations for bed like putting on pajamas and brushing your teeth. Given the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s wise to give yourself extra wind-down time each night. 
  • Bedtime: Pick a consistent time to actually turn out the lights and try to fall asleep.     

In addition to time spent sleeping and getting ready for bed, it can be helpful to incorporate steady routines to provide time cues throughout the day, including: 

  • Showering and getting dressed even if you aren’t leaving the house.
  • Eating meals at the same time each day. 
  • Blocking off specific time periods for work and exercise as previously mentioned

Reserve Your Bed For Sleep

Sleep experts emphasise the importance of creating an association in your mind between your bed and sleep. 

This means that working-from-home shouldn’t be working-from-bed. It also means avoiding bringing a laptop into bed to watch a movie or series. 

On any given night, if you find that you’re having a hard time sleeping, don’t spend more than 20 minutes tossing and turning. Instead, get out of bed and do something relaxing in very low light, and then head back to bed to try to fall asleep. 

Frequently changing your sheets, fluffing your pillows, and making your bed can keep your bed feeling fresh, creating a comfortable and inviting setting to doze off. 

See the Light

Exposure to light plays a crucial role in helping our bodies regulate sleep in a healthy way. As you deal with disruptions to daily life, you may need to take steps so that light-based cues have a positive effect on your circadian rhythm.     

  • If you can, spend some time outside in natural light. Even if the sun isn’t shining brightly, natural light still has positive effects on circadian rhythm. Many people find outdoor time is most beneficial in the morning, and as an added bonus, it’s an opportunity to get fresh air. 
  • As much as possible, open windows and blinds to let light into your home during the day. 
  • Be mindful of screen time. The blue light produced by electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers, has been found to interfere with the body’s natural sleep-promoting processes. As much as possible, avoid using these devices for an hour before bed. You can also use device settings or special apps that reduce or filter blue light. 

Be Careful with Naps

If you’re home all day, you may be tempted to take more naps. While a short power nap early in the afternoon can be useful to some people, it’s best to avoid long naps or naps later in the day that can hinder nighttime sleep. 

Stay Active

It’s easy to overlook exercise with everything happening in the world, but regular daily activity has numerous important benefits, including for sleep. 

If you can go for a walk while maintaining a safe distance from other people, that’s a great option. If not, there is a wealth of resources online for all types and levels of exercise.  Many gyms and yoga and dance studios are live-streaming free classes during this period of social distancing. 

Practice Kindness and Foster Connection

It might not seem critical to your sleep, but kindness and connection can reduce stress and its harmful effects on mood and sleep. 

Despite all the bad news that you may come across, try to find some positive stories, such as how people are supporting one another through the pandemic. You can use technology to stay in touch with friends and family so that you can maintain social connections despite the need for social distancing. 

Utilise Relaxation Techniques

Finding ways to relax can be a potent tool in improving your sleep. Deep breathing, stretching, yoga, mindfulness meditation, calming music, and quiet reading are just a few examples of relaxation techniques that you can build into your routines. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out smartphone apps like Headspace and Calm that have programs designed for people new to meditation. 

Another relaxation strategy during this pandemic is to avoid becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus-related news. For example, you can try techniques including: 

  • Bookmarking one or two trusted news sites and visiting them only during a limited, pre-set amount of time each day. 
  • Cutting down the total time that you spend scrolling on social media. If you want a hand in this effort, a number of apps can monitor and even block your time on social media sites or apps each day.
  • Scheduling phone or video calls with friends and family and agreeing in advance to focus on topics other than the coronavirus - take part in one of our Zoom meetings!

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Keeping a healthy diet can promote good sleep. In particular, be cautious with the intake of alcohol and caffeine, especially later in the day, as both can disrupt the quantity and quality of your sleep. 

Contact Your Doctor if Necessary

If you have severe or worsening sleep or other health problems, it is advisable to be in touch with your doctor. Many doctors are increasing availability via email or telemedicine to allow patients to discuss concerns without having to physically visit their office. 

Other help and support
Other help and support is available through our Employee Assistance Programme

What is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?

An EAP is a confidential employee benefit designed to help you deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting your home life or work life, health and general wellbeing.


Our EAP service provides a complete support network that offers expert advice and compassionate guidance 24/7, covering a wide range of issues. We strongly believe in providing an EAP service that offers not only reactive support when someone needs it but also proactive and preventative support to deliver the best possible outcomes.


At Health Assured we pride ourselves on offering the highest level of service quality, assured through the calibre of people we employ and our exceptional clinical governance infrastructure.


With Health Assured there really is a better way

Balancing everyday life with the requirements of work and home can create pressures for all of us. Work is a large part of people’s lives. With increasing working hours as well as technological developments to support remote working, it is vital to ensure that there's a productive, healthy environment that is conducive to a healthy lifestyle.


Health Assured, in partnership with Manchester Schools’ Alliance provides all employees with complimentary access to an enhanced Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to assist you in achieving this balance.


Services Available

Health Assured offers cover for you and your immediate family members*, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year:


  • Life support: Unlimited access to counselling for emotional problems and a pathway to structured telephone counselling or face-to-face counselling sessions (employees only) at your convenience.


  • Legal information: For any issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, accountancy, lawsuits, consumer disputes, property or neighbour legalities (employees only).


  • Bereavement support: Health Assured offers qualified and experienced counsellors who can help with grief and related stress plus a team of legal advisors to help with legal issues.


  • Medical information: Qualified nurses are on hand to offer advice on a range of medical or health related issues. They can’t diagnose but can offer a sympathetic ear and practical information and advice.


  • CBT online: We recognise the value of self-help tools in dealing with a range of issues, which is why we have a range of CBT self-help modules, informative factsheets and invaluable advice videos from leading qualified counsellors.


*Health Assured define dependants as immediate family members (spouse/partners) and children aged 16 to 24 in full time education, living in the same household.


Wellbeing Portal

In addition to the counselling support and advice, we also offer a virtual library of wellbeing information. These informative articles and self-help guides provide support on a range of health and advisory issues, as well as instant guidance to aid of an employee’s physical and mental health.


We understand that the information needs to be available in a way that is suitable for you, whenever you require it. From simple lifestyle changes to advice for many of life's most common concerns, the portal offers:


  • Interactive health assessment providing personal tailor-made dietary tips and fitness plans
  • Fitness and lifestyle advice, such as detoxing methods
  • Four week self-help programmes
  • Mini health checks
  • Financial wellbeing articles


Health e-Hub Mobile App

Sometimes it can be difficult to balance the pressures of work with the demands of home life. When daily life feels overwhelming you need help and support to deal with the practical and emotional challenges you may be facing. The free Health Assured app offers access to holistic health and wellbeing support at the tap of a finger anywhere and anytime.



  • Support videos and webinars
  • Four-week programmes
  • Home life support and advice
  • Work life assistance
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Mini health checks
  • Life Support
  • Emotional Health
  • Physical Health
  • Online CBT
  • Wellbeing videos and webinars
  • Medical information


To find out more information on what services Health Assured can provide, please visit or contact 0800 030 5182.

The SMART Clinic

The school has bought into the SMART clinic for all staff.

As part of the package all staff will have access to:
Package summary:
• Employee assistance helpline - unlimited usage (in addition to current EAP offer)
• Counselling - six sessions per employee per year (in addition to current EAP offer)
• Physiotherapy - four sessions per employee per year
• Virtual GP - unlimited usage
• Stress coaching - six sessions per employee per year
• Flu jabs - one innoculation per year (between June and December)
• Eyecare - one eyecheck (in addition to current MCC offer for VDU users) and pair of prescription glasses per year

Files to Download

Find Us:

Pike Fold Primary School

Old Market Street, Blackley, M9 8QP

0161 702 3669

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