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Support needed for school leaders facing burnout after ‘exhausting and stressful’ year, says new NAHT president, announcing charity partnership with Education Support

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Today (Tuesday 18 May), school leaders’ union NAHT (@NAHTnews) holds a ‘New and Aspiring Heads’ Conference at which delegates highlight the extreme pressure Covid has put on all school leaders, especially those new to the job.

New NAHT president, Tim Bowen, has chosen Education Support as its charity partner for the year. Education Support is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of teachers and all education staff.

The charity’s latest survey shows that half of all teachers have suffered at least one characteristic associated with work-related burnout ‘all the time’ since the beginning of this school year.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“These figures reflect exactly what we are hearing from teachers and school leaders. Morale is very low and we know many are considering leaving the profession. A recent NAHT survey found that the top words school leaders would use to describe their experiences over the last year are ‘challenging, exhausting and stressful’. There is a real risk that we will see an exodus of leaders from the profession once the crisis is over. They have never been in more need of support.”

Tim Bowen said:

“My main theme for my Presidential Year will be to focus on and promote the health and well-being of teachers and school leaders. Teaching is a much tougher job than it used to be and focusing on the health and well-being of teachers and school leaders is of real importance. That is why I’ve chosen Education Support as my President’s charity this year. Every leader needs to make sure every member of their team has the support they need. And when you develop your staff, of course the pupils benefit. Better mental health leads to better education.”

Sinéad Mc Brearty, CEO of Education Support commented:

“It is an unavoidable fact that over time, prolonged stress, anxiety and fatigue can lead to burnout. We need to properly prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of our head teachers as we recover from the pandemic so they can ensure that their staff are equipped and supported to do their best work. We’re delighted that the NAHT has chosen Education Support to be its charity of the year. By working together we can support many more head teachers and many more schools to thrive.”

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