Teachers say their poor mental health is harming pupil progress

Children’s education is suffering because of the poor mental health experienced by many teachers, according to new research. Excessive workload and constant scrutiny are among the causes of mental ill-health among teachers, the study from the Leeds Beckett University reveals in Tes.

The study of 775 teachers shows that more than three quarters – 77 per cent – said that poor teacher mental health was having a detrimental effect on pupils’ progress.

Ninety-four per cent of those questioned by the university’s Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health said that they felt their classroom energy levels drop when suffering from poor mental health.

“Teachers are human,” one of the survey respondents said. “If their mental health is affected, this will affect their day-to-day life, including relationships. So much of teaching is about relationships and patience, so this has a human impact.”

Another said: “When I’m on form, there is a buzz in the class and you can feel progress being made. If I’m unwell, depressed or stressed, then frankly I don’t care as much, and just want to get through the day.”

Of all the teachers surveyed, 54 per cent said that they had experienced poor mental health. Of these, 52 per cent said that their illness had been identified by a GP.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:“Guidance to governing bodies is clear that they have a responsibility to take work-life balance into account when managing staff. Where staff are struggling we trust headteachers to take action to tackle the causes of stress and ensure they have the support they need.”

Read the full article Teachers say their poor mental health is harming pupil progress

Would your headteacher/SLT notice if you were suffering with mental health issues? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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