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Teamwork: an introduction for school governors (Wales)
Teamwork: an introduction for school governors (Wales)

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4.2 The importance of teams

Although education in schools operates in different contexts, one thing that education and schools have in common is that a number of adults are involved. The complex and demanding nature of safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare, wellbeing, learning and development means practitioners cannot work in isolation from colleagues and other professionals.

Teamwork can be regarded as the building block of children’s safeguarding, well-being, development and education. Building, leading and working in a team is, however, a complex, ongoing process rather than a simple event. The commitment to working together in a multi-agency context stems from the belief that children’s needs cannot be boxed into health, social or educational compartments and should be viewed holistically.

The term ‘wider’ team includes professionals who may be less closely involved on a day-to-day basis but are needed to collaborate with, as and when appropriate to enhance a school’s provision and meet a child’s individual needs. This could include health visitors, speech and language therapists or educational psychologists.

Most early childhood leaders and staff appreciate that teamwork is important for the working conditions of their settings, and understand that what constitutes a team can vary. [...] Depending on the meaning given to the concept of team, parents may or may not be included in the broader definition. Regardless of its definition, the essence of a team is that all participants work together effectively to achieve a common goal.

(Rodd, 2006, p. 147)

A key aspect of teamwork is the extent to which all those involved in the team have shared views, values and beliefs. If team members are able to articulate these aspects they are more likely to develop shared understandings and to be an effective team.