Our CEO appointed to Expert Advisory Group on wellbeing of teachers and leaders | Education Support
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Our CEO appointed to Expert Advisory Group on wellbeing of teachers and leaders

16th July 2019

Sinéad Mc Brearty, CEO at Education Support has been appointed to a 26-member Expert Advisory Group set up to advise the Department of Education, Multi-Academy Trusts and local authorities on the wellbeing of school and college leaders and teachers.

The group includes representatives from education unions, mental health charities, education experts and school leaders. It will gather evidence from teachers and schools leaders before making recommendations to the Department of Education.   

The advisory group was announced by the Secretary of State for Education, Daman Hinds, in March at the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ASCL) annual conference in Birmingham.

After attending the first meeting, Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:

“One thing that strikes me when I meet teachers in every school is their selflessness and their willingness to go above and beyond to help their pupils. However, like any important and rewarding job, life as a teacher brings its own challenges and pressures.

I saw first-hand the crucial role this group will play in providing us with expert advice to help prioritise teachers’ mental health and wellbeing – setting a positive example for pupils.”

Education Support CEO, Sinéad Mc Brearty, who was appointed to the Group to represent the charity, said:

“The Expert Advisory Group represents a positive step forward in the need to proactively address the current high levels of poor wellbeing and mental health across the education workforce.

“The Group provides a much needed opportunity to view the issue from a systemic perspective and address the wide range of factors that contribute to poor teacher and leader wellbeing and mental health.

“This needs to consider the impact of decisions at a policy-level, within schools and colleges, and the support available to help teachers and leaders manage their personal and professional lives.

“Working alongside others in the Group and inputting the voices of the thousands of education staff we support every year, we need to ensure that positive tangible changes are made as a result of this work, which directly benefit those working on the frontline.”

In May, we announced that our emotional support helpline had experienced the highest number of calls ever in the past 12 months.

According to the latest National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) research, teachers endure greater job-related stress than other professionals.

The Expert Advisory Group’s members are:

  • Nansi Ellis – Assistant General Secretary, National Education Union
  • Sara Ford – Deputy Director of Policy, Association of School and College Leaders
  • James Bowen - Director of Policy, National Association of Head Teachers
  • Adam Lincoln – Bargaining and Negotiations Official, University and College Union
  • Darren Northcott – National Official for Education, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
  • Leora Cruddas – CEO, Confederation of School Trusts
  • Emma Knights – Chief Executive, National Governors Association
  • Stuart Rimmer – CEO, East Coast College; Chair, Association of Colleges Mental Health Policy Group
  • Bill Watkin – Chief Executive, Sixth Form College Association
  • Tom Bennett – Founder, ResearchED; Director, Tom Bennett Training
  • Faye Craster – Director of Teacher Development, Teach First
  • Hannah Tyreman – Head of Online Learning and Community, Chartered College of Teaching
  • Dame Carol Black – Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge
  • Georgina Newton – Associate Professor, University of Warwick
  • Dr Tim O’Brien – Visiting Fellow in Psychology & Human Development, UCL Institute of Education
  • Paul Farmer – CEO, Mind
  • Professor Peter Fonagy – CEO, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
  • Nancy Hey – Director, What Works Wellbeing Centre
  • Sinead McBrearty – CEO, Education Support 
  • Michael Eggleton – Deputy Headteacher, Charles Dickens Primary School
  • Jacqui Ford – Group Director, Weston College
  • Ben Levinson – Headteacher, Kensington Primary School
  • Nicola McCleave – Health and Wellbeing Manager, Reaseheath College
  • Jenny Rigby – Headteacher, Meadow High School
  • Steve Rippin – Assistant Headteacher, Tapton School
  • Gary Wilkie – CEO, Learning in Harmony Multi Academy Trust