School staff under pressure

18 Sep

“An overwhelming majority of the UK’s education professionals say they have suffered physical and mental health issues as a result of their jobs”, according to YouGov research, commissioned by the charity Education Support Partnership:

Three quarters (75%) of 1,250 school and college staff and leaders surveyed said they had experienced psychological, physical or behavioural symptoms because of work, significantly higher than the UK working population overall (62%)2 and of this group, workload and work-life balance were cited as the top work-related reasons.”

“Just over half (53%) said they have considered leaving the sector in the past two years due to pressures on their health. This appears to reflect the findings of a National Audit Office report published last week which revealed that last year alone, 35,000 teachers left their jobs for reasons other than retirement. 

“Many appear to be experiencing higher levels of stress than the wider workforce with 29% saying they had felt stressed ‘most’ or ‘all of the time recently whilst 18% report these levels of stress outside of the sector3. 45% felt they don’t achieve the right balance between their home and work lives.”

Workload

Voice continues to highlight issues such as workload that have a negative impact on staff.

We have also worked with other stakeholders on initiatives to reduce workload , including most recently in Wales.

We agree with the comments of Julian Stanley, Education Support Partnership’s Chief Executive, that education professionals:

 “are suffering the consequences of many factors causing severe pressure: budget cuts; fewer staff, bigger class sizes and localised recruitment and retention difficulties in some areas are adding to workload and increasing stress levels. Outside school, many are suffering financially. The housing crisis means growing numbers cannot pay their mortgage or rent, others have problems paying household bills. 

“If we are to keep our latest generation of talented teachers and education leaders we must ensure they have what they need to stay healthy. To perform at their best, we must work collaboratively; government, the DfE, Ofsted and schools, to find lasting solutions.”

Stress

stress

 

The YouGov research found that “experienced staff” were “more likely to have found ways to manage the daily challenges”. Voice’s 2016 stress survey results found that “age plays a noticeable part in stress levels; those members aged 50+ are currently the least stressed whilst those aged 31-40 are the most stressed”.

stress2Our survey results and resources for Voice members on how to deal with stress are online.

 

Voice’s latest survey results will be published soon.

Do let us know your experiences.

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