Teacher Retention Crisis: Health Mentors to the Rescue

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Teacher Retention Crisis: Health Mentors to the Rescue

A recent report from The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) claims that teacher retention is in crisis due to the persistently increasing workload teachers are given, despite education being one of the slowest rising pay sectors since 2011. A significant reason for this greater workload is the increasing need for behavioural management and pastoral care in schools, which many teachers have taken on in addition to their academic responsibilities. Citing the increasing workload as the main reason for leaving the profession, the number of teachers considering alternative careers increased by 44% in 2022/23 compared to the year before. Reducing teachers’ workload could be the key to seeing this figure reduced in the future.

The NFER has called for immediate action to address the problems teachers are facing, including the intense workload and for the government to carry out an independent review on how to reduce teachers’ workload. Moreover, they recommend the exploration of external support services as a major conversation in this review. This highlights the critical role of specialised organisations in assisting with the additional demands faced by teachers, especially in areas such as special educational needs and disability (SEND) support, mental health, and safeguarding.

Our Health Mentors can serve as a ready made solution to this growing problem. On top of the positive impact that having a Health Mentor in schools can have for children, their presence can also reap advantages for teaching staff by taking on some of the emotional responsibilities of the role to lessen their workload. Health Mentors can support and strengthen the emotional wellbeing of the children they work with.

Working in collaboration with Health Mentors, teachers and school staff can promote a healthy academic environment for children without adding additional responsibilities for teachers. Health Mentors not only support the development of the pupils in the school, but also serve as a stress remover for other members of staff, making them an undeniable asset to any school environment.

In light of the urgent call for action from the NFER, introducing Health Mentors into schools emerges as a practical solution. By easing teachers’ emotional load and offering tailored support for pupils, Health Mentors provide a promising way to lighten the workload for teachers and create a healthier learning environment. This will uncover the opportunity to not only boost student growth but also recognises the vital role of supporting staff wellbeing in nurturing a successful setting.

Read more: Teacher recruitment and retention crisis shows no signs of abating, new report reveals – NFER