Teachers stretched to the limit, struggling to cope with the COVID-19 , are facing a mental health crisis with sickness claims soaring, it can be revealed today (20 Jan).
Latest figures show during the months of September, October and November there was a 350% increase in mental health support requests from stressed out staff.
Even before the pandemic outbreak, the mental wellbeing of teaching staff was problematic with 55% of school leaders and 49% of teachers admitting that their workplace had a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
One organisation trying to ease that burden is Education Mutual, the only staff absence Mutual in the country recommended to schools by the DfE.
Education Mutual were the first staff absence provider to pay Covid claims as far back as back in June setting a precedent, shaming private insurers to follow suit after many companies initially dragged their heels.
Now, they are taking the lead again and PAYING claims when most schools are closed around the UK and children are being taught from home.This is unprecedented in the industry as other staff absence providers use the loophole that as schools are closed, they do not have to pay for staff sickness.
Education Mutual's Chairman, Nick Hurn, said:
"We felt a duty to pay these claims to support our dedicated and brave teachers and support staff on the front line during their time of need and to lend support to the education system.
"We want to do everything we can to get behind our teaching staff in what is an unprecedented time of disruption for educators.
"Our appreciation goes out to all people who are helping and especially teachers/staff who have put themselves in harm’s way to allow key workers’ children to attend school despite the risks.
"We were the first staff absence protection provider to start helping schools deal with Covid claims by allowing them to make claims from the 1st of June onwards.
"As we continue to navigate the changing tides posed by this pandemic, our priorities remain the same, with the Board members trying to be fair and transparent in dealing with Covid-19 claims for the long term sustainability of the Mutual. Indeed, we are now paying for staff sickness even when most schools are closed.
"We have a dedicated team of experts who are committed to keeping our operations running smoothly so that we can provide you with the best possible service."
Teaching staff can easily access support through their Health Services team who, after a comprehensive telephone triage, are recommended the most appropriate treatment based on presenting symptoms, with provisions made for online and face-to-face support to help users learn effective ways of managing anxiety, depression and stress.
The Mutual’s ‘by schools, for schools’ approach has been lauded for its holistic stance – and more and more schools are joining the mutual revolution as they realise the saving potential that the company’s unique model offers.
As a mutual, any funds not claimed over the insurance period are ploughed back into the education pot, rather than claimed as profits by the private companies which are run for profit.
This cost-effective model has helped educators save thousands of pounds and as a result, the organisation is gaining customers at the expense of more traditional private insurance providers.
In the event of a staff member being absent due to testing positive for COVID19 the Mutual will pay the Daily Benefit up to a maximum of 14 working days during the period of cover after the Excess Period.
Any ongoing medical condition caused or contributed from COVID-19 will be limited to a maximum benefit of 20 working days. Where staff members are admitted to hospital for treatment of COVID-19 the mutual will pay the Daily Benefit up to a maximum of 50 days during the period of cover.
For more information visit https://www.educationmutual.co.uk/