Teacher Wellbeing Index 

Our annual Teacher Wellbeing Index provides an insight into the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and education staff working in the UK. 

Research / 2 mins read

We began this programme of research in 2017 to understand more about the mental health and wellbeing of staff working in education.

This report is the most important one yet. It gives us an insight into the working lives of teachers and education staff under the shadow of Covid-19. It also shows us the five year picture.

Our survey of over 3,000 education staff found that in 2021:


experienced symptoms of poor mental health due to their work


are stressed (rising to 84% for senior leaders)


always go into work when unwell (rising to 54% for senior leaders)


think their organisation’s culture has a negative impact on their wellbeing


have considered leaving the sector in the past two years due to pressures on their mental health

Over the past five years:

  • Levels of stress and anxiety remain unsustainably high
  • Excessive workload and lack of work-life balance remain key drivers for poor mental health
  • Covid-19 has had a significant impact on wellbeing
  • A consistently high percentage of staff consider leaving the profession
  • Staff are concerned they will be perceived negatively if seeking support for mental health issues
  • Organisations have improved staff awareness of wellbeing policies, as well as their implementation
These findings represent the experience of school and college support staff, teachers, lecturers and leaders. This is their story. If we fail to act on these findings we are complicit in the damage to the lives and opportunities of those responsible for teaching, guiding and inspiring our nation’s next generation.
Sinéad Mc Brearty, CEO Education Support

Our recommendations 

For government and policy makers: 

  • Educator mental health must be at the heart of education recovery and all education policy
  • Inspection bodies must adapt to the current challenging context
  • Existing frameworks present opportunities for improvements
  • Recruitment and retention of senior leaders must by prioritised 

For schools and colleges: 

  • Prioritise a culture of wellbeing and reduce stigma
  • Look after your leadership
  • Support your staff 

These recommendations for schools and colleges depend on the availability of sufficient resources. Insufficient funding is one of the drivers of excessive workload, which in turn is a key wellbeing driver. The Government’s extra £4.7bn core funding and £1.8bn for education recovery is welcome. However, many schools and colleges still lack sufficient resources to meet the needs of their communities. This is particularly true for smaller schools, and those in areas of increased need. The funding model must evolve again to provide schools and colleges with the capacity to recover, deliver and improve.

Employee Assistance Programme
Employee Assistance Programme
School leaders' support
School leaders' support