The impact of the pandemic has driven up teachers’ already excessive workloads. Moreover, despite overwhelming evidence pointing out these excessive workloads schools, governments and employers are failing to take steps necessary to mitigate the impact of teachers and put steps in place to support teachers’ physical and mental wellbeing.
More than three-quarters of survey respondents (78%) say that their school does not provide staff with workspaces that have teacher wellbeing at the heart of its management policy.
At a national level, the picture is even more damning, with more than four in five teachers (81%) saying they do not believe Government policies support staff to respond to the mental health and wellbeing of teachers.
Other findings of the survey include:
- 64% report that their job has adversely affected their physical health in the last year.
- 52% say that workload has been the main factor for increased work-related stress.
- 34% pointed to the Covid-19 pandemic for the increased stress.
- 24% felt pupil behaviour was increasing their levels of stress.
- 72% say that organising remote learning has been the major pandemic contributor to adverse mental health.
“This is no way to run a world-class education service.”
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said of the findings: “While the pandemic has been tough for everyone, teachers have been right in the eye of the storm. Even before Covid-19 teachers were already caught in a spiral of increasing workload and stress and the events of the last two years have turbo-charged the pressure they are under.”
“This was not inevitable. Excessive workloads and working hours should not be accepted as an intrinsic part of the job of teaching. There [is] a multitude of practical steps which employers, governments and inspectorates can take, and which we have been pressing for, which would reduce the pressures on teachers without sacrificing educational standards or rigour in our schools.”
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“Cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy, trusting teachers to teach and giving them greater freedom and autonomy to help pupils learn and progress - this is the model followed by the best employers and the most successful education systems globally.”
“Establishing working conditions which support the health and wellbeing of teachers will deliver a win-win in schools’ efforts to ensure the best outcomes for pupils.”
“Instead, employers and governments are fixated on heaping ever more pressure on teachers on the damaging assumption that teachers’ dedication to their pupils is unbreakable. The damaging toll on teachers’ health and wellbeing cannot continue to be written off as collateral damage.”
“If the Government is truly committed to the educational success of children and young people, Ministers must deliver a better deal for teachers.”