Staff relationships

In the final staff survey of the first phase of Learning Away, 61% of staff said that they thought that the project had had a significant or transformative effect on their relationships with colleagues in their school, because of the opportunities it gave them to:

  • work with staff from other subject areas and/or year groups
  • spend extended time with each other both during planning sessions – both within and across schools – and on residentials themselves
  • collaborate with staff from residential venues and/or specialists brought in to deliver a particular part of a residential.

The high-trust relationships built between staff on residentials have long-lasting impacts at both professional and personal levels.

Professionally, teachers and TAs talked about collaborating more often with staff they had got to know through residentials, for example planning joint activities both within and across schools, team teaching, and planning student learning across subjects more effectively. They also noted that working with specialist staff on residentials both inspired and challenged them to be more creative in their own practice.

Personally, staff said their schools felt more connected and personal as a result of the residentials; this was particularly valuable for new staff who needed to integrate into a school quickly. One NQT, for example, said that her involvement in Learning Away had meant she had “found my place” in a large secondary school in which she had previously found it hard to settle. Staff who had been on residential together tended to continue supporting each other and collaborating back in school because they felt comfortable with each other, which led to helpful personal and professional outcomes. One primary school saw this through their TAs on return to school:

The teaching assistants have developed a network where they’re really supportive of each other and they notice when they’re struggling, even without anybody saying… They pick up each other’s slack, which didn’t happen before… it’s really noticeable.

In this short film, two teachers from Canterbury Academy describe the positive impact their involvement in the school’s Learning Away residentials has had on their relationships with colleagues.


Be inspired by our case studies from Learning Away schools.

Explore Getting Started and access free resources to help you plan your own brilliant residentials.

Have a look at our theory about how change happens on brilliant residentials.

Read our recommendations for schools, providers, policy makers and researchers. 

Read our independent evaluation report.