Record numbers of teachers signed off with stress in Scotland

Record numbers of teachers signed off with stress in Scotland

As you are probably aware, it was Mental Health Awareness Week last week.

It is great that mental health is getting discussed more in wider society, the workplace and is starting to become more open here in the education sector too, though there remains much work to be done. It is an increasingly critical issue.

Just last week, research published in the Glasgow Herald and The Scotsman highlighted that the number of teachers signed off for stress-related reasons has risen by more than a quarter since 2016/17 levels.

Many observers were quick to point out the exacerbating role of the pandemic which has increased workloads, created school closures and driven the urgent need to roll out and manage remote learning.

In response, the Scottish Government noted the £1.5 million mental health support funding package that it has brought it in, whilst the Education spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, countered that: 

“Our hard-working teachers are bearing the brunt of the SNP slashing thousands of teachers from our classrooms.”

At Welbee, we are not interested in the party politics but we do welcome the open and urgent conversation that is now being had north of the border and in classrooms up and down the UK.

In the coming weeks, we will be publishing our first major survey into school staff wellbeing. 

We have had over 7,500 responses to an exhaustive piece of research covering workload pressures, expectation management and the level of management and peer support, to problems such as bullying and harassment.

These are all of course, matters of enduring importance, which have taken on a new intensity in the age of Covid-19.

Given the sheer scale of the response, much higher than we anticipated, it is taking a little longer than initially planned to sift through everything. We aim to publish the full findings by early summer.