Teacher Wellbeing Manifesto 2017-2022

Education Support Partnership prepared this Teacher Wellbeing Manifesto for 2017-2022 in response to alarming findings from our services, surveys and other ongoing research. This manifesto sets out five policies for the five-year Parliamentary term, which will significantly improve the wellbeing of teachers and the wider education workforce: something, which is proven to relate to student outcomes.

This isn’t just a manifesto for the next government. We and the education profession also have to play our part if the policies are to work, so we have designed individual pledges for policy makers and the education profession to make alongside our own charity promises to help implement these goals.

Please share our manifesto using the ‘share this’ options on this page to start playing your part today. Keep the conversation going by using our hashtag #health4edu on social media.

1. Ensure all staff are properly trained and supported to maintain a healthy workforce

Studies suggest that more staff will continue working in education if they are supported with key challenges - such as pupil behaviour and workload - and given greater career prospects. In our latest research conducted by YouGov in late 2016, 79% said that a reduction in workload could positively influence them to stay in teaching. 

Policy makers: toughen up training standards so all new staff are adequately prepared for the challenges of their career, such as behaviour and workload. Ring-fence annual budgets for whole-staff, externally-delivered training.

Education profession: seek out training for the aspects of your job that you find most challenging and encourage all of your colleagues to do the same. Remember the quality of teaching is critical to improving results so feel empowered to take staff development seriously. 

Education Support Partnership: we will campaign for training reform to help the profession to be at their best and also provide specialist training.

2. Implement a staff wellbeing policy in every institution

In our 2016 YouGov TeacherTrack survey 44% said that workplace support for personal wellbeing could help keep them in the profession.  

Policy makers: make staff wellbeing policies statutory in all education institutions.

Education profession: ensure a staff wellbeing policy is properly implemented in your institution and that you regularly remind colleagues that they need to look after their health to be at their best.

Education Support Partnership: we will campaign for health and wellbeing policies to be implemented and will monitor progress via an annual health survey.

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3. Establish a framework of accountability that is supportive and informed by the profession

While regulation is important it should not have a detrimental effect on the health of the education workforce. Our research revealed that current regulation largely has a neutral or negative influence on students’ results, in part because inspections impact negatively on the wellbeing of education professionals. This has to change.

Policy makers: ensure that regulators prioritise staff wellbeing in their assessments, provide more feedback to individuals and institutions on how to improve, and explore using peer or mentor assessment.

Education profession: check that your institution is not unnecessarily exceeding bureaucratic requirements for inspections, help promote a healthier culture before, during and after inspections by fostering a supportive environment with colleagues and seek emotional support from us whenever you feel the stresses that scrutiny can cause.

Education Support Partnership: will campaign for wellbeing policies to be implemented and will monitor progress via an annual health survey.

4. Improve the status and perception of education professionals

Worries about recruitment and retention in education are well documented. It’s time for the known solutions to be well implemented. A third of teachers surveyed in our YouGov TeacherTrack research said they don't expect to be working in the sector beyond five years. 

Policy makers: acknowledge the vital role staff play in the education of the next generation by listening to their concerns.

Education profession: know your rights and lead by example: do not accept working conditions and attitudes that mean you are unable to say no to additional work or demands. Encourage your colleagues to do the same and contact us or your union if you need support.

Education Support Partnership: we will campaign to raise the status of the education workforce. We will also support research into recruitment, retention and the relationship between staff wellbeing and student outcomes.

5. Pledge to speak up about the importance of staff health in education

In our annual health survey published in 2016, 8 in 10 people working in education experienced at least one mental health condition in the previous 2 years including stress, anxiety and depression but only 18% used a wellbeing support service and only a quarter knew Education Support Partnership existed. With your help we think we can reduce this unnecessary suffering by encouraging more people to speak up about their mental and physical health. 

Policy makers: promote us and relevant support services to education staff on your websites, education visits and in relevant correspondence so they can seek emotional and practical support when they need it most.

Education profession: ensure you and your colleagues know when and where you can get help. Be more open about mental health in the workplace through regular discussions around wellbeing and promoting support services like ours.

Education Support Partnership: the entities in our charity group have joined forces to form Education Support Partnership in order to reach more people working across all phases of education. We will also make it easier for people to promote us by providing more marketing materials and online resources for individuals and institutions.

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