Third of heads actively looking to leave education sector

The Heads Support Service are ‘unfortunately unsurprised’ by a new report on teacher well-being

The Heads Support Service are ‘unfortunately unsurprised’ by a new report on teacher well-being

Suspensions among pupils return during the second year of the epidemic, but exceptions are still declining

A new study reveals that more than a third of senior leaders are actively looking to leave the education sector, which shows that chiefs are at risk of depression.

The 2022 Teacher Wellbeing Index results were shared exclusively with Schools weekIt also shows the deterioration of mental health and well-being among chiefs, assistants and deputies in recent years.

It comes amid concerns about retention rates in such roles, with a welfare service over the phone for bosses headrest He said he was “unfortunately not surprised” by the report.

In a poll of 707 senior leaders working in primary, secondary, and further education, 67 percent said they had considered leaving the sector in the 2021-22 school year.

This represents an increase of four percentage points from the previous year, when 63 per cent of senior leaders of the charity Education Support – which runs the index – said they had considered leaving education in the past two years.

Of those considering quitting this year, more than half actively sought to quit smoking. This equates to 37 percent of all those surveyed.

Schools week She recently revealed that teacher turnover has risen by a third since before the pandemic.

Too much for school principals

SchoolDash data shows there were 2,127 principal changes in September, when hirings typically peak, up from 1,584 in September 2019 — an increase of 34 percent.

An analysis of official figures by the NAHT Association of School Leaders earlier this year also found that more than a third of new high school presidents have left the profession within five years.

“Unfortunately, this report did not come as a surprise to us: We are very concerned about the loss of several Headrests due to a variety of factors,” said Ross McMullen, Headrest co-founder and co-founder.

It added these included the “oppressive nature” of Ofsted’s inspections, budgetary pressures and “increasing difficulties” in recruiting other staff.

“All of this is proving to be too much for many principals,” McMullen said.

The top leaders in the Education Support survey included directors, directors, deputy directors, and assistants, as well as department heads and deputy heads.

The report shows the average well-being score for senior leaders at 43.37 – the lowest in four years. During lockdowns in 2020, the number was 45.20.

Those with scores between 41 and 45 on the Warwick-Edinburgh Scale of Mental Well-being are considered more likely to experience psychological distress and have an increased risk of depression. The average well-being score for residents of England is 52.40.

“breaking workloads”

When asked if their workplace supports employees with mental health issues, 51 percent of senior leaders say they don’t feel well supported. This was a 10 percent increase in 2020-2021.

They also showed signs of performing worse than other school staff. A total of 37 percent reported signs of burnout – higher than teachers and support staff – and an increase of 5 percent from the previous year.

Ross McMullen said the pressure is great on principals in the education sector
Ross McMullen

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, said the report reflected its members’ concerns about “overwhelming workloads” and salary cuts in real terms that left them at a “breaking point”.

“Unless the government acts urgently to restore wages and make school driving an attractive proposition for teaching professionals, the school leadership supply line will dry up.”

The Department of Education has been contacted for comment.


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