Teachers’ wellbeing: under scrutiny and underappreciated

Balancing work and life is the biggest challenge facing teachers. They need school leaders to help them reconnect with the joy of teaching when Ofsted or unrealistic targets squash their space to reflect and develop, a Guardian roundtable, held in association with Zurich Municipal, heard.

Attendees discussed the pressures facing teachers and how schools can best counteract them. “Wellbeing is a massive issue,” said Tilden Watson, head of education at Zurich Municipal, “not just for us, but for everyone who cares about education.”

As the education system changes shape, some schools find inventive ways to nurture their workforce, but others suffer high staff turnover and are accused of bullying, participants said. Official figures show suicides among teachers rising year on year, although some schools pursue positive measures such as the Investors in People kitemark and budgeting for professional development.

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