March 5, 2024

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Research: Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022

3 min read
Research: Teacher Wellbeing Index 2022

Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn…
Read more about Lynn How

What does the newly updated Teacher Wellbeing Index say?

The Education Support Teacher Wellbeing Index unsurprisingly concludes that stress, depression and anxiety have remained unsustainably high among our workforce.

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The report concludes that with an increasing lack of funding and resources, long-term health implications and school staff wellbeing deteriorating, it is no wonder we need a positive and high-quality workplace culture.

Research aims

  1. Provide a description of the mental health and wellbeing of education staff using data collected in 2022.
  2. Analyse trends over time.
  3. Identify differences between the mental health and wellbeing of senior leaders, school teachers and support staff working in the education sector.

Methodology

A total of 3,082 responses were received to the overall survey.

All respondents were drawn from the YouGov panel of teachers signed up to undertake research. The data has been weighted to represent the wider education population by phase, organisation, type and respondent age to ensure generalisations can be made to the wider education population.

The study us the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS). This is a measure used by various organisations, including governments, to gauge the mental wellbeing of a population. It is a self-administered questionnaire of subjective wellbeing and psychological functioning.

Key findings

The challenges:

  1. 75 per cent of all staff are stressed.
  2. 47 per cent always go to work when unwell.
  3. 42 per cent consider their organisation’s culture has a negative effect on their wellbeing.
  4. 59 per cent are not confident in disclosing unmanageable stress or mental health issues to their employer.
  5. 48 per cent feel their organisations do not support employees well who have mental health and wellbeing problems.

Mental health of education staff:

  1. 36 per cent of all staff have experienced a mental health issue in the past academic year.
  2. 78 per cent experienced symptoms due to their work.
  3. 44 per cent thought the symptoms could be signs of anxiety.
  4. 27 per cent thought the symptoms could be signs of depression.
  5. 28 per cent thought the symptoms could be signs of burnout.

Staff retention:

  1. 59 per cent of staff have considered leaving the sector in the past academic year due to pressures on their mental health and wellbeing.
  2. 55 per cent have actively sought to change or leave their current jobs.
  3. 68 per cent cited volume of workload as the main reason for thinking about leaving their jobs.

The findings also report percentage breakdowns for teaching staff and senior leadership team.

Teacher
Wellbeing
Index 2022

Recommendations

The report sets out four main recommendations:

  1. The scale of the Government’s ambition needs to meet the scale of the challenge. We need ambitious, fully-funded initiatives that address the systemic drivers of stress and poor mental health in the education sector.
  2. Resourcing for the Department for Education’s retention strategy (DfE, 20196) needs to be reconsidered. While the main ideas in the strategy are sound, without specific funding targeted at the most significant drivers of stress it has not delivered meaningful impact.
  3. Ensure the Department for Education implements the wellbeing policy test outlined in the Wellbeing Charter (DfE, 2017). The pace of future changes, new policies and additional demands on the workforce must be carefully considered to avoid further damage to workforce effectiveness and morale.
  4. Ensure that the wellbeing requirements in all training frameworks are delivered consistently and effectively, across all training providers.

The Government does not need to choose between prioritising children’s futures or the wellbeing of school and college staff. The two are interconnected, as healthy teachers are better able to provide high quality education and support for pupils who have been through an extraordinary few years.

Finally …

It is clear that there continues to be a need for change both at a government and organisational level. Teacher Toolkit has various school resources and blog articles to support workplace wellbeing.

Sinéad Mc Brearty (Chief Executive Officer) states,

We have a duty of care to future generations of children and young people to retain passionate, talented teachers and leaders. Instead, stress and overwork has been normalised in the education sector.

Access the full report.

 

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