Responding to new data from the Education Support Partnership showing a sharp rise in calls to their emotional support helpline, and a rise in calls from school staff with serious mental health and wellbeing issues, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“It is very concerning to see so many reports of serious stress from the teaching profession, but unfortunately not surprising. Teachers and school leaders are increasingly being asked to do more with less, as the pressures of high-stakes accountability, the funding crisis, and heavy workloads bear down.
“Teachers are dedicated, committed professionals whose instinct is to put children and their jobs first. But teaching is not the kind of job that can be done effectively when you’re not at your best. Time spent ensuring good mental health benefits the whole school – and early intervention is key.
“It is vital that teachers and school leaders take time to prioritise their mental wellbeing. We can see from the Educational Support Partnership helpline that too many school workers are only turning for help when they reach crisis point.
“We have a serious issue with retention – we can’t afford to lose teachers to stress. We’d encourage all school staff to make sure they put themselves and their mental health first, and to take time out to take advantage of services like the Education Support Partnership helpline as soon as help is needed.”
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