Teachers call on Government to support teacher recovery

Chartered College of Teaching and Education Support call on the government to act with urgency

News 20 October 2022 / 3 mins read

  • Over 1,000 teachers and leaders identify four key areas that reduce their capacity to focus on high quality teaching and negatively impact their mental health and wellbeing
  • Teachers are committed to their students’ learning, but a stressed and burned out workforce cannot deliver the highest quality education for children and young people
  • Teachers need more time and recognition to make the decisions that best support pupils in their learning
  • Chartered College of Teaching and Education Support call on the government to act with urgency

Teacher and student wellbeing are two sides of the same coin. There is rightly increasing attention being paid to the mental health challenges of this generation of children and young people. Many of them are struggling with social, emotional and mental health challenges (including emotional dysregulation at school) which in turn affects their readiness to learn. These challenges, however, cannot be viewed as distinct from the mental health and wellbeing of those responsible for their education.

Teachers are central to the government’s plans for pupil recovery, and yet they are under enormous pressure themselves. Teachers have had consistently lower well-being and higher workplace stress, along with higher levels of depression and anxiety, all of which has been worsened by the pandemic. The cost-of-living crisis is exacerbating the difficulties in education, for pupils and for staff.

Over 1,000 teachers who responded to our survey in the summer highlighted four areas that put a particular strain on teachers.

  • administrative tasks that have no impact on student learning
  • the introduction of new initiatives and expectations during an academic year without proper planning and support
  • preparation for Ofsted inspections
  • a lack of support staff in schools

These have to be addressed if teachers are to maintain a focus on students’ learning and their own professional development.

Teachers are clear that, as knowledgeable and skilled professionals, they must be trusted to make the decisions that best support pupils in their particular contexts.

Without urgent action, these issues threaten to push more teachers to burn out and leave the profession.

Dame Alison Peacock - CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching - said:

"Teachers are essential in student recovery post-pandemic, but no one can do their best at work if they are mentally and emotionally depleted. We rightly have ambitious plans for education recovery and student outcomes as a nation. However, these goals cannot be achieved with a burnt-out workforce. The Government has been on pause throughout the summer, but now it needs to act. There is significant disparity in how education has been affected across the country, and the toll it has taken is severe. As the government looks to the future and particularly to the difficulties of the winter ahead, they must put in place the support our profession needs to deliver excellent education."

Sinéad Mc Brearty, Chief Executive of Education Support, said:

"We are experiencing a crisis in teaching that will have a huge impact on entire school communities, including the quality of children’s lives and education. The government must acknowledge the scale of the problem and act.

It isn’t a choice between prioritising children’s futures or the wellbeing of school and college staff. The two are interconnected - healthy teachers are better able to provide high quality education and support for pupils who have been through an extraordinary few years.

We are seeing a rise in teachers who are at risk of suicide when they contact us for help, which is deeply worrying. We expect this to get worse as the cost of living crisis deepens and we urge the government to act now to address the drivers of distress."

Notes to editors:

About the Chartered College of Teaching:
The Chartered College of Teaching is the professional body for teachers. We are working to celebrate, support and connect teachers to take pride in their profession and provide the best possible education for children and young people. We are dedicated to bridging the gap between practice and research and equipping teachers from the second they enter the classroom with the knowledge and confidence to make the best decisions for their pupils.

About Education Support:
Education Support supports individuals and helps schools, colleges and universities to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their staff. We also carry out research and advocate for changes in Government policy for the benefit of the education workforce.

For more information, please contact:

  • Nansi Ellis, Public Relations and Communications, The Chartered College of Teaching
    E: press@chartered.college / T: 020 7911 5589
  • Gemma Scotcher, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Education Support
    E: gemma.scotcher@edusupport.org.uk/ T: 07593 705 593