Our 2020 Teacher Wellbeing Index provides an important snapshot of how our teachers coped in a year defined by crisis.
It shows a worrying trend of increased symptoms of poor mental health, such as mood swings, difficulty concentrating, insomnia and tearfulness. It also highlights the sustained pressure on senior leaders as they report the highest levels of stress among all education staff.
A sharp increase in symptoms of poor mental health:
- 52% said they had suffered from insomnia in the last year (compared to 37% in the last 2 years)
- 41% tearfulness (compared to 26% in the last 2 years)
- 40% had difficulty concentrating (compared to 23% in the last 2 years).
The profession has experienced increasing stress levels:
- 62% of teachers and 77% senior leaders reported being stressed or very stressed in July, when most education institutions were closed to all but the most vulnerable
- 84% of teachers and 89% of senior leaders reported being stressed or very stressed in October when schools returned.
Staff retention continues to be a growing concern:
- 51% of teachers and 59% of senior leaders said they have considered leaving the profession this year due to pressures on their health and wellbeing.
- 68% of education professionals said the reason was the volume of workload (rising to 76% for senior leaders)
There are some positive developments.
- There is more mental health guidance available for teachers and school staff.
- Those who have experienced mental health issues at work, have a stronger perception of being supported. There is also a sense that people are encouraged to speak up when they are struggling.