ASCL comment on Teacher Wellbeing Index 2023

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the publication of the Teacher Wellbeing Index by Education Support.
“These stark findings are further evidence that the education workforce is under unsustainable pressure. The persistent underfunding of education has left teachers and leaders constantly needing to do more with less.
“Teaching is a hugely fulfilling profession because of the power of education to transform the lives of children and young people. But we know that exhaustion and unsustainable workloads are commonly cited as reasons why staff leave and this survey makes clear that many are suffering from stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.
“This leads to a vicious cycle with schools struggling to recruit replacements – putting remaining staff under ever-more pressure.
“Significant action to address the long-term erosion of pay and tackle workload across the education sector are needed if the recruitment and retention crisis is to be addressed.
“An excessively harsh system of inspections and performance tables are other areas that have a negative impact on wellbeing. A more proportionate method of holding schools to account, as opposed to one that drives destructive levels of workload, stress and anxiety, is long overdue.
“The lack of trust that school and college staff have in the inspection system, as identified by this survey, is unsurprising and underscores the urgent need for reform in this area.”