Our annual survey of over 3,082 education staff found that in 2022 record numbers of UK teachers and education staff have considered leaving the sector in the past academic year due to pressures on their mental health and wellbeing.
Over half of staff have actively sought to change or leave their current jobs, citing workload as the main factor
Other key findings include:
- 59% of staff have considered leaving the sector in the past academic year due to pressures on their mental health and wellbeing
- 55% of staff have actively sought to change or leave their current jobs
- 68% of staff cited volume of workload as the main reason for thinking about leaving their jobs
- 47% of all staff always go into work when unwell
- 78% of all staff experienced mental health symptoms due to their work
Read the report here.
Jen Hope, AoC’s senior policy lead for mental health said:
“Pressure and stress within the workplace is clearly intertwined with employee’s mental health, so it is important that this report shines a spotlight on how staff in education are faring. Stress, depression and anxiety have all remained at an unsustainably high level and over the lifetime of the Teacher Wellbeing Index, these figures have not meaningfully improved. This has concerning implications for our workforce’s long-term mental health.”
“Working in education across all provision type is hugely rewarding but can be very high-pressured. These findings show that staff in education have worse levels of mental wellbeing than the general population, with wellbeing rated lower now than in 2019 (pre-pandemic). And funding really matters – for the first time, ‘lack of resources’ has become one of the top five reasons that staff consider leaving the profession.”
“We welcome the report’s findings and focus on challenging poor mental health and wellbeing in education and support recommendations for “ambitious, fully-funded initiatives that address the systemic drivers of stress and poor mental health in the education sector, including funding, intensification of workload, and the status and autonomy of the profession“.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“Sadly, these findings sound very familiar, and reflect what we are hearing from our members. Crushing workload and high-stakes accountability, burnout following the additional pressures during the pandemic, and salaries worth 24% less than they were a decade ago, have left many school leaders at breaking point.
“We know that more school leaders than ever before are considering leaving the profession – and fewer and fewer middle leaders are aspiring to headship. The people in front of our children have the biggest impact on learner outcomes.
“Strong leaders and skilled teachers make all the difference. But unless the government acts urgently to restore pay and make school leadership an attractive proposition for teaching professionals, the school leadership supply pipeline is going to run dry. The fact that leaders in particular are reporting high levels of stress and burnout should come as a real wake-up call to government.”