It is widely accepted that health and wellbeing problems are prevalent in the UK education workforce in particular among theteaching profession. However, there has been considerable debate over the best solutions to these problems.As a result, Teacher Support Network has undertaken research and stakeholder consultation in order to make informed
recommendations in this debate. Our ndings are presented in this document.
We conducted a nationwide wellbeing survey of the workforce between October and November 2008, asking the professionalsthemselves for their views. The survey – completed by 777 people via our website and e-newsletter - also developed asnapshot of the current state of health and wellbeing in the workforce. The answers backed up what Teacher Support Network
sees day after day through its free, condential support services:
87 per cent of teachers had suffered from stress in the last two years. Two-thirds also said that they had experienced
anxiety and 42 per cent had suffered from depression in the same period.Over 60 per cent of respondents said that issues in their workplace were responsible for these feelings.
Problems such as trouble sleeping (82 per cent) and lack of concentration (53 per cent) were widespread, and some
respondents had even considered suicide. Understandably, these symptoms were having a damaging impact on their work
performance (g 1).
Have the feelings you have experienced resulted in any of the following?
The scale and signicance of health and wellbeing problems in the teaching profession are clear. Problems are prevalent and
they are having a costly impact on students, colleagues and the individuals concerned. Taking time off work, for
example, disrupts learning, puts colleagues under even greater stress and is extremely difcult for the professional in
e presented these ndings to other key education and health and wellbeing specialists for
discussion. In November 2008, we hosted a roundtable meeting with the National Director forHealth and Work, Dame Carol Black, to take into account the expertise of key stakeholders,
including: the DCSF, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, IOSH, HSE and all of the leading
teacher unions and related bodies.The meeting followed a visit by Dame Carol Black to Teacher Support Network’s ContactCentre, which took place shortly after the release of her review of the health of
Britain’s working age population in March 2008.
etails of our ndings from the survey and roundtable meetingare set out in the following pages. These ndings have been
carefully considered to produce essential recommendations forimproving the health and wellbeing of the education workforce,
relating to: training, development, policies, procedure
and the overall culture in education.
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