From education to employment

Education charity announces growth plans

Julian Stanley, CEO of Education Support Partnership

A UK charity that exists to improve the mental health and wellbeing of teachers and education staff has announced plans to double its income to £5.7m over the next four years to cater for a sharp rise in demand for its services.

Education Support Partnership, which started over 140 years ago as a Benevolent Fund for teachers, offers a range of services for individuals and organisations.

Last year, the charity’s free and confidential emotional support helpline – run by trained and accredited counsellors – managed 8,668 cases, representing a 35% annual increase in teachers accessing support. Furthermore, applications to its confidential grants service increased by 40%, with staff struggling to pay housing costs and experiencing other forms of financial difficulty.

In 2016, just under 40,000 teachers left the profession (9% of workforce), whilst a recent health survey of the sector reported 53% have considered leaving over the past two years as a result of health pressures.

Julian Stanley, CEO of Education Support Partnership, said: “Due to the current pressures and strains on educators in this country, the demand for our services has grown significantly in recent years. That is why we are embarking on our most ambitious strategy to date, to ensure everyone working in education is respected, supported, resilient and committed.

“We want to ensure we are always available to someone in crisis, but also increase our work with schools, colleges and universities to put in place early interventions that protect staff before this stage is reached.”

Education Support Partnership currently works face-to-face with over 600 education institutions to improve workplace culture and wellbeing – a figure it plans to treble over the next four years. In addition to building its capacity to provide a suite of digital services, the charity is also committed to increasing its reach in Wales, whilst growing its research and policy function.

Stanley, added: “This is an exciting period of growth for us, however it requires us to be innovative in how we operate moving forward.

“We are looking to work with partners, investors and foundations who are passionate about education and the mental health and wellbeing of those who will ultimately determine its future success”

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