As a society, we often underestimate the critical role teachers play in shaping the future. However, the alarming findings from the 2023 Teacher Wellbeing Index by the Charity Education Support demand our immediate attention and action.
Declining Wellbeing in the Education Sector
The report reveals that wellbeing among teachers and senior education staff continues to deteriorate. A disturbing 78% of all staff are experiencing stress, with the organisational culture negatively impacting 55% of them. Furthermore, 46% report a lack of support for mental health and wellbeing issues within their organisations.
Mental Health Concerns
The mental health statistics are particularly concerning:
- 81% of staff have experienced work-related symptoms.
- 39% have encountered a mental health issue in the past year.
- Symptoms of anxiety were identified by 45%, depression by 28%, and burnout by 35%.
Using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS), the staff wellbeing score stands at 43.65, lower than the national average and the lowest since 2019.
Loneliness and Isolation
The report sheds light on the feelings of loneliness and isolation among education staff, with rates significantly higher than the general population:
- 14% always or often feel lonely at work.
- 22% of staff from a global majority background report loneliness, compared to 13% of white staff.
- 17% feel isolated from others at work.
Distrust in Inspection Systems
There's a widespread distrust in the inspection system among school and college staff, particularly in England:
- 73% believe inspections are not fit for purpose.
- An equal 73% say these inspections don't improve learner achievement.
- 71% report a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
- 64% doubt the reliability of inspection judgements.
Call to Action
These findings are a clarion call for immediate governmental intervention. With teachers and education staff being pushed to their limits, the urgency for action cannot be overstated. It's imperative for all political parties to prioritise this issue as we approach the next General Election.
The 2023 Teacher Wellbeing Index highlights a critical situation that demands a collective response. It is time for us to join forces in advocating for change and support the individuals who dedicate their lives to educating future generations.
For full report go to: https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/resources/for-organisations/research/teacher-wellbeing-index/