How to review your menopause policy

Find everything you need to review and approve your school's menopause policy, including what to look for in the policy and key questions to ask your school leaders.

Last reviewed on 15 May 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 42165
Contents
  1. Key facts
  2. Key points to look out for
  3. Key questions to challenge the policy
  4. Model policy
  5. Examples from other schools and the NEU

Key facts

  • This policy is non-statutory
  • You can delegate the approval of this policy to an individual or committee
  • The board determines the review cycle
  • The headteacher and senior leadership team (SLT) will write and be responsible for the implementation of this policy

Key points to look out for

Below we suggest what your school or trust's menopause policy might include, but bear in mind that since it's not statutory, your policy might look different. 

Clear aims and objectives

Your policy should state how it aims to support staff members affected by the menopause through things such as:

  • Making sure staff feel comfortable at work when experiencing symptoms
  • Ensuring staff feel they can ask for support and adjustments
  • Setting out how the school will make reasonable adjustments to minimise risk of worsening symptoms

An explanation of common symptoms and key terms

To help leaders and other staff better understand the menopause, provide support and address misconceptions, your policy could:

  • List common symptoms that someone undergoing the menopause may experience
  • Provide definitions of common terms surrounding the menopause
  • Link to further resources, such as training courses or further reading - these may be useful for the board to access too, especially for chairs when thinking about supporting headteacher and CEO wellbeing 

How your school or trust will manage staff's concerns

This could include the types of support that staff might receive. Each school will be different, but some examples might include:

  • Arranging external support, such as counselling or occupational health services
  • Completing a risk assessment and following through with any actions identified
  • Reassessing their workload and deciding what tasks to prioritise

Key questions to challenge the policy

You need to ask challenging questions of senior leaders when the policy comes to you for approval, so you can be sure the policy-reviewing process was robust.

1. How will you ensure that staff receive appropriate training on this subject?

Leaders should outline their plans to ensure staff are well-educated on the subject and know how to handle it sensitively. They could have examples of training that has already taken place or is planned in the future. 

2. What could we expect to see on a menopause risk assessment?

Leaders should explain how the risk assessment takes into account the symptoms and risks for staff experiencing the menopause, and outline reasonable adjustments that could be put in place. 

3. Existing policy: how do you know this policy is working?

School leaders should be able to explain how they assess the impact of the strategies set out in the policy. Evidence might include positive comments from staff or a reduction in staff absences. 

4. New policy: how will we know this policy is working and that it's being properly implemented?

School leaders should be able to explain:

  • Key objectives of the policy and how success will be measured
  • How implementation will be monitored and reported

Further questions

See more questions to ask when reviewing any policy.

Model policy

This model document is not meant as a guide for writing it, since that's your SLT's job, but use it to give you a sense of what a good policy looks like. 

Our policy template is:

  • Designed for your senior leaders to adapt to suit your school's context
  • Approved by Forbes Solicitors
  • Created in partnership with NAHT

Make sure to check with your school leaders that they have consulted with the unions represented at your school before you implement any new policy related to staff.

Download: menopause model policy

Examples from other schools and the NEU

Use the examples below to see how the policy could look (remember, it's not your role to create the policy):

 

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