New study sheds light on staff wellbeing in schools

The inaugural Tes Staff Wellbeing Report has been released, which reveals how workload, CPD, in-school communication and other issues have affected school staff wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report, the first of what will be a bi-annual report, reveals a quarter of (24%) of respondents don’t feel they have enough time to do their job effectively, and fewer than half (44%) said their work-life balance was sustainable. Worryingly, a fifth of respondents stated that their workload wasn’t actually practical or achievable. Unsurprisingly, with all the added pressures of Covid-19, a third of respondents reported not loving their jobs and less than half (49%) found their jobs “fun” anymore.
Supporting student wellbeing is also an area of concern and only 39% of respondents felt they were fully equipped  to manage the mental health concerns of students. With the events of school closures and shifts to online learning, the weight of responsibility for pupil wellbeing in and out of schools has increased dramatically for teachers; 94% saying they cared about their pupil’s problems.
The report found that professional development (CPD) - a key factor in helping to build management skills, increase staff self-confidence and deal with organisational change – is one of the areas that could tackle the issues highlighted. However, fewer than half (44%) of staff feel that they receive the training they require in order to develop their career, while 16% said they disagreed that sufficient workplace training was provided by their employer. However, showing the resilience and strength of the school workforce as a whole, despite the changing nature of the demands put on them this year, 55% of staff believed that they had enough resources to do their jobs well.
Communication in the workplace is highlighted as another area where schools could make improvements. Only a third (35%) of respondents say they feel communication between staff is clear and a similarly small number (36%) feel this communication is timely. Interestingly, less than half of respondents (44%) feel the leaders of their schools communicate clearly. Connected to this, only two fifths (39%) of respondents felt they knew how they fitted into their school’s future plans.
While the report identifies a range of issues affecting staff wellbeing, there were positive results around the profession as a whole. The study shows that the majority of respondents feel they have a close, compassionate relationship with their colleagues, with 68% of respondents saying they felt their co-workers cared about them. 73% of staff said they were happy to reach out for help with colleagues. The majority (65%) love working in their schools, pay a lot of attention to their work (94%) and value their relationships with pupils with 83% of respondents saying that staff at their school have good relationships with their students.

The report is based on more than 61,000 responses from school staff in the UK and across the world, who responded anonymously to questions within the Staff Pulse wellbeing tool, created by Tes to help school leaders gain an understanding of how their teams are feeling.