No one can do their best at work if they are mentally and emotionally depleted.
So why do teachers and school staff deserve particular attention?
For society, the cost of our teachers being mentally unwell at work is simply too high.
Teachers and all school staff are doing their jobs in the context of rising child poverty, and more children classified as vulnerable or living in temporary accommodation.
It is therefore unsurprising that an estimated one in six school-aged children in the UK now have a diagnosable mental health disorder, an increase from one in nine in 2017.
It is already recognised that Covid-19 will widen the gap in learning and attainment between children of the highest and lowest income families. Experts estimate that many children are at least 6 months behind where they should be.
These factors affect children’s life chances, and they are evident to teachers and staff in schools every day.
School staff are often the most influential adult in a child’s life, outside of the home. They are working hard to meet the needs of increasingly vulnerable pupils with understanding and compassion.
Support for teachers, therefore, is a matter of national recovery.
It is vital that those responsible for teaching and inspiring this generation of children are well enough to keep showing up for their pupils – physically and emotionally.
We believe that proper investment in teachers’ mental health can make the difference between a talented person staying in their career or leaving it.