Research undertaken by YouGov, with content provided by the Educational Support Partnership, surveyed 1250 educational professionals across key stage, further, and higher education levels, using questions from other employment research to make comparisons with. Their findings support the need for a health and wellbeing policy consistently enforced across the education sector to support teachers.
75% of education professionals experience mental and physical issues which are attributed to their work, 13% higher than for other occupations. There are also higher levels of stress as a regular part of their working lives which contribute to this. Workload and long hours is perceived to be the most likely the cause of stress and mental health problems. This impacts on both their work performance and personal relationships, sometimes resulting in absence from work. Half of these professionals have considered leaving the education sector in the past year, mostly because of these reasons. The impact on work performance in turn has a negative effect on pupils. Of those surveyed who reported having difficulties, 36% said they felt it impacted pupils’ studies and 13% felt it affected their results.
Similar to other professions, those in education are not likely to define their mental health as poor despite stress and other symptoms which suggest this, but the percentage of those who do is tellingly higher than other professions. A majority would not feel comfortable disclosing these issues to an employer and are less likely to receive support from them, with nearly half feeling their profession is not supportive of these issues due to the culture. On a whole, those in the education sector are less likely to be provided with stress easing tools and classes, and from the evidence put forward here this needs to change for the sake of both teachers and pupils.
“It comes as no surprise that children’s mental health issues are increasing alongside those of their teachers. Recent education reforms and accountability measures may have led to increased academic standards but at what cost?
The purpose of education should be to equip children and young people with the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to lead a fulfilling life and positively contribute to society. Grade A’s and first class degrees are worthless if our next generation do not have their physical, cognitive and mental health.”
– John Bishop, Evolve Managing Director
To read the full report, click here.