• 23% of teachers in the UK describe their mental wellbeing as poor or very poor
  • Primary cause is “work related stress”
  • 48% of teachers do not get enough support from their employer 

Nearly a quarter of teachers in the UK (23%), a near 360% increase in the last two years, describe their mental state as “poor” or “very poor”, according to a new report published today, by specialist recruiter Randstad. 

The 2020 ‘supporting staff in education: an insight into mental health’ report, based on a survey of nearly 2,000 teaching staff about their current state of mental wellbeing, suggests that the state of mental health in the education sector is deteriorating. 27% of respondents claim that their state of mental wellbeing has changed for the worse over the past 12 months. 

The new report discovered that different job roles seem to make a difference to mental wellbeing within education. When asked “would you recommend working in the profession”, just over half of all respondents (56%) said yes. Filtering by job type, teaching/learning assistants are the biggest advocates, with 77% stating that they would recommend working in the profession.

Almost a third (31%) of teachers reported that work-related stress was the dominant factor negatively affecting their mental wellbeing. The increasing pressures of Ofsted inspections are also contributing towards the stress and pressure of the role, with 41% stating that upcoming inspections negatively impact their mental health. Almost half (48%) also say their current or most recent employer does not do enough to support them when it comes to mental wellbeing.

Victoria Short, Managing Director of Randstad Public Services said: “Teachers are pushed for time and resources as it is, and many are already suffering from burnout and fatigue. The day-to-day pressures of the role, especially prior to important milestones such as Ofsted inspections are having a detrimental impact on the mental wellbeing of the nation’s teachers. Not only are teachers delivering a curriculum on a restricted budget, 46% say they are not being provided with sufficient PPA time enabling them to adequately prepare for their classes. All of these factors are mounting up. It’s upsetting to find out that 15% admitted to taking more days off due to mental illness compared to the same time period last year.  Schools need to be doing more to support staff and looking out for mental wellbeing, not piling more work and responsibility on their shoulders.” 

Top five reasons stated by teachers behind change in mental wellbeing by reason and percentage of respondents. 

  • Work-related stress: 31%
  • Personal life: 20%
  • Poverty or debt: 13%
  • Social isolation or loneliness: 10%
  • Bereavement: 6%

Findings from the new report suggest that the state of mental wellbeing has taken a sharp decline compared to the same period two years prior. Approximately 5% of respondents described their state of mental wellbeing as poor or very poor in 2017, compared to 23% in 2019. With work related stress and poverty or debt being two of the top three reasons impacting teacher mental health, the UK’s education workforce are clearly overworked and underpaid. The situation seems to be worse for men according to findings, with just half of those surveyed stating that they would recommend working as a teacher, compared to 57% of women. 

The ramifications may be even more serious in the future. One in five (21%) teachers said they were planning to leave the profession in the next 12 months due to work-related mental wellbeing concerns (another 7% said they’d leave but for different reasons).


about Randstad.

Randstad is the global leader in the HR services industry. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential by combining the power of today’s technology with our passion for people. We call it Human Forward. In 2019, we helped more than two million candidates find a meaningful job with our 280,000 clients. Furthermore, we trained more than 350,000 people. Randstad is active in 38 markets around the world and has top-three positions in almost half of these. In 2019, Randstad had on average 38,280 corporate employees and generated revenue of € 23.7 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext (symbol: RAND.AS). For more information, see www.randstad.com