Carole Willis, Chief Executive of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), and Jack Worth, School Workforce Lead, comment on the annual 2019 Teacher Wellbeing Index, conducted by the charity Education Support in partnership with YouGov:
“Despite how important and rewarding teaching can be, this is a profession facing many challenges which are impacting on attracting and keeping teachers in our schools. These new findings highlight that more needs to be done to make teaching more manageable and sustainable, and points to the negative impacts of absences on children’s learning.
Our research also highlights the greater stress levels experienced by teachers compared to other professionals, alongside the long hours teachers work during term time. The recent Teacher Workload Survey, conducted by NFER on behalf of DfE, confirms that teachers are working fewer hours in the evenings and at weekends. Working 50 hours a week on average – and many teachers work longer hours – can lead to stress and burnout.
The level of professional autonomy teachers have over certain aspects of their work is directly related to whether they feel their workload is manageable, their stress levels, and their likelihood of leaving the profession. We are publishing new analysis on this in the new year.
Whilst this report suggests that support for education professionals dealing with the consequences of stress has improved, it is clear that more needs to be done. Nurturing, supporting and valuing teachers is crucial and we urge policymakers to continue focusing on improving job satisfaction, and tackling workload and long hours.”