Teacher wellbeing no better than during pandemic

The annual Tes School Wellbeing Report reveals that staff in schools are no happier than they were at the height of the pandemic, amid a budget crisis, heavy workloads and unrest over teacher pay.

However, there are also positives as the report reveals that teachers remain committed to young people’s education and are still proud to work in schools.

Less than one in five (18%) of survey respondents say their workload is manageable; this has not improved since the Tes Wellbeing Survey last year.

Almost two thirds of respondents (61 %) say their school isn't well funded and this is having a direct effect on how school staff feel they are performing: 43 % say they do not have enough resources to do their job.

More than half of staff (51 %) say they don’t have a voice about how things go in their school. This is slightly increased from the 49 % who said the same a year ago.

Only around a third (35 %) of school staff told us that they feel valued at work, while 44 % said that they do not.

However, there are positives to be taken from the report, as it reveals that teachers remain committed to young people’s education.

Over three fifths (58 %) feel confident performing their role. This is an increase from 54 % last year.

Almost half of respondents (47%) say they are proud to work at their school, while less than a third (33%) say they are not.

Over half (53%) say their colleagues care about them, suggesting that most staff rooms remain collegiate places and teachers are happy to support each other.

Almost three quarters (71%) say that staff at their school have good relationships with the students, while only one in ten (11%) say they do not.
These results show that students remain at the front of teachers’ minds and are consistently being prioritised.

Meanwhile, the survey revealed some of the steps that schools are taking to tackle the staff wellbeing issues they face and make progress in this area despite the odds:

Almost two thirds (63%) of respondents said their school has implemented wellbeing surveys to gain insight into staff wellbeing.

Half (50%) say their school has provided resources on wellbeing to support staff and a third (32%) say their school has invested in staff development.
The survey also showed how schools are using better processes and embracing technology to help reduce workload, admin tasks and class management which all help to improve the day-to-day wellbeing of staff. For example, nearly half (49%) of responders said their school has reduced marking to help alleviate workload and over a third (34%) reported a streamlining of staff meetings. A third (32%) meanwhile said their school has implemented behaviour management software to help lighten the load.

Grainne Hallahan, Senior Education Analyst at Tes said: “This report reveals how stuck in a rut teacher wellbeing is - and this news is disappointing but expected. When we read the headline figures of teachers leaving the classroom at higher rates than ever - these are the stories behind those decisions. We can see that the impacts of mounting workload, a budget crisis in schools and unrest over teacher pay are all continuing to take their toll.

“However, to look at the positives – we can see that when schools get the working conditions right - teaching continues to be a worthwhile and rewarding job.  The results also tell us teachers are proud to work for their schools and serve their communities, they are supported by their colleagues, and cherish their positive relationships with students. Teaching is the best job in the world - but only when it's given the right conditions to allow that to happen."