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Voice of the Employee

Recent studies have shown most teachers love their work and enjoy making a difference however according to research collated by Global Recruitment Specialists HAYS, a whopping 70% of teaching professionals have admitted to feeling drained after work. Another 62% have said they often feel stressed at work. Furthermore, schools and universities seem to be struggling with retention, with 20% of new teachers leave teaching within their first two years, and 33% leave within their first five years.

Recent research into teachers’ wellbeing in the UK revealed how complex the issue is. On the one hand, most teachers enjoy their profession and feel positive about their school culture and relationships with colleagues and pupils. In fact, 77% of schoolteachers say they are satisfied with their job, and 71% said that they’d choose it all over again if they were given a second chance.

Despite this, however, teacher wellbeing at work is reported as being moderate to low. This was largely due to factors such as a high workload, struggles with work-life balance, and a perceived lack of support from leaders.

A YouGov study show around 82% of teachers say the most positive aspect of their job is making a difference to lives, but around 55% also say their experiences so far would make them think twice before recommending the profession to a younger person.

With many blaming an unmanageable workload for their decision to switch careers, a huge focus has been placed on teacher stress in recent years. Many say pressure to spend all weekend grading papers or answer after-hours emails from parents has a negative impact on work-life balance and overall wellbeing.

Surprisingly research shows more than 20% of new teachers leave teaching within their first two years, with another 33% leaving within their first five years.

Around 35% of teachers reported low levels of occupational wellbeing, while 26% reported moderate levels and 39% reported high levels. Those who are in senior leadership positions have been shown to fare much better in terms of wellness, with 61% reporting high levels of wellbeing at work.

A good school culture has a major positive impact on wellbeing and can also help to affect pupils’ behaviour positively. This strong link shows that there is a great opportunity for headteachers and senior leaders to improve their teacher recruitment and retention strategy by reassessing the culture at their schools. Through recognition, rewards, career investment and support, there are many ways to retain top teaching talent.

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