Increasingly, reaching retirement is a luxury for most teachers.
Nearly 1800 signatures have been received supporting my campaign to provide free counselling for teachers within school. A phenomenal number!
A third leave within 5 years of qualifying. This can not continue. Crippling hours leaves no time for well-being activities outside of school including quality family time.
Teaching should be a sustainable and respected career. Instead burnout and stressed out teachers are expected more and more of. It’s humanly impossible to reach retirement without many feeling desperate to stop but unable to due to needing to complete enough years for the pension.
There’s no requirement for schools to provide mental health support for teachers currently. With average weekly hours of 70+ there’s no room left for personal care. Visiting family, seeing the dentist, etc aren’t possible for most either.
Excessive planning and marking, numerous meetings after school hours, laborious assessments, additional responsibilities; most agree this is chronic overload.
We need to find a better balance for teachers. The current system is failing. Government reports identify this but no action has come of it.
I’m seeing that especially experienced and older teachers are being asked of an insurmountable amount of additional duties including responsibility for more than one subject, performance management of other staff and more such as whole school awards to gain.
If they challenge what they are given, they can and do, often face capability processes.
Being the most expensive teachers means they are much less sought after than newer, greener staff. Early retirement seems the only option but getting to it seems to be arduous, guilt inducing and not celebrated as it should be.
Imagine what message this sends as a society; experience and years of service mean nothing?
If you are a UK teacher looking for counselling, please get in touch.
So many have contributed their lives to schools. They deserve a happy retirement and not to feel like they are hanging on in circumstances they feel miserable in. So many seek mental health support when reaching retirement but I feel that’s too late.
We need fresh and eager new teachers too. However, many leave after just their first year seeking jobs away from education completely. So it’s not working anywhere is it.
Invest in Teachers or we continue to lose them.
Here’s one supporter’s reason for supporting the campaign:
I burnt out in teaching and had to leave the profession for my own health and the sake of my family. The current ‘support’ offered by many schools for staff who are struggling is to place them on ‘competency procedures’ rather than address the stress they are under. Healthy, supported teachers make better teachers.
Our children and teachers are being treated like machines.
I’m trying to help, but know an overhaul is required. I can’t see this government doing that. With enough support, at least I’ll try to save teachers from crippling conditions and support the children that need them now, more than ever.
I really hope you’ll sign and share the petition.
If you are a teacher looking for counselling, please get in touch.