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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 25891, tabled on 1 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) mental health and (b) wellbeing of school (i) leaders and (ii) teaching and support staff as covid-19 infection rates are rising.

Answered on

14 July 2021

The Department is committed to supporting the wellbeing and mental health of staff in schools and colleges. We regularly commission research to assess the wellbeing of head teachers, teachers and school staff, in addition to monitoring relevant emerging research in the field. The latest published wave of the School Snapshot Survey can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/903642/2._Workforce__6104.01_Winter_2019_.pdf.

The Department took quick action when the COVID-19 outbreak started to help support the mental health of head teachers, funding a pilot led by the charity Education Support. This is now providing peer-support and one-to-one supervision from experts to head teachers, until the end of August 2021.

In June 2021, the Department launched an invitation to tender for a contractor to deliver a longer term programme of professional supervision. This is to be delivered to a minimum of 2,000 head teachers experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges from this autumn, prioritising those who need support the most.

In addition, on 10 May, the Department published the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-staff-wellbeing-charter. The charter sets out the actions that the Government and other organisations, including Ofsted, will take to improve wellbeing of all staff in schools and colleges.

In May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the Department announced more than £17 million of mental health funding to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges. The Government has also convened a Mental Health in Education Action Group, led by Ministers, to consider how we can support the wellbeing of pupils and staff as part of education recovery.

The Department continues to review evidence and consult with stakeholders in shaping future plans for staff mental health and wellbeing support.