To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the mental health and wellbeing of teachers.
23 December 2020
The government recognises the pressure that head teachers and teachers are under. We thank them for all that they have done, and continue to do, to educate and support children and young people as we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last year, the government set up an expert advisory group to advise on the wellbeing of staff in schools and colleges. The group’s recommendations were accepted by ministers and published in June 2020. They can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890547/Nick_Gibb_letter_to_EAG.pdf.
As a result, the department has made a range of commitments to support the wellbeing of teachers and other education professionals in schools and colleges. These include the creation of a wellbeing charter for the teaching sector. The charter will help create an open culture around wellbeing and mental health, breaking down stigma, and will include a range of commitments by the government, and for employers in schools and colleges, to promote and protect staff wellbeing.
The department also took rapid action to help support the mental health needs of school leaders, by funding a pilot, led by Education Support, to provide online peer-support and telephone supervision from experts to school leaders. This service will run until March 2021.
Alongside this, the government has invested millions in mental health charities and in support for teachers. This includes £8 million on a training programme run by experts to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on pupils, parents, and staff. Through the ‘Wellbeing for Education Return’ training programme, we are supporting staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures some children and young people may be feeling as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as any anxieties they, or their teachers, may be experiencing. Further information on this programme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/8m-programme-to-boost-pupil-and-teacher-wellbeing.