I started 16 months ago and am approaching 2,500 signatures now! I need all the help I can get to keep the momentum going. Please sign and share the petition if you haven’t already.
Teaching should be a sustainable and respected career. Instead more and more is expected of burnt out and stressed out teachers. It’s not humanly possible to reach retirement without many feeling desperate to stop but unable to because of the need to complete enough years for a teacher pension.
The government gave no indication of teachers being essential for priority vaccination during the pandemic, instead they left teachers at great risk. The Department of Education’s ventilation scheme was inadequate, with great delays in schools receiving equipment, which often proved to be ineffective.
There’s currently no requirement for schools to provide mental health support for teachers. With an average week of over 70 hours there’s no room left for personal care. Visiting family, seeing the dentist and other aspects of normal life are impossible to maintain until school holidays – not everything can wait until the holidays and teachers work throughout their holidays anyway!
Excessive planning and marking, numerous meetings out of school hours, laborious assessments, unrealistic expectations of our children and teachers is crippling this beautiful profession. The chronic overload cannot continue or we will keep losing teachers at the alarming rate that we have been. Before the pandemic, the recruitment and retention crisis was at its worst. Imagine the impact on top of that of the last two years and you might have an inkling of just how bad the situation is.
Sign and share this petition now. Government won’t do anything without us making a lot of noise!
Counselling can’t fix this monumental issue by itself but it would certainly have a significant impact on teachers and therefore our children. If we give our children the best tools we can for their mental health before they leave school, we are also investing in our future and supporting the NHS.
Much more is urgently needed for teaching to be a sustainable career again. As a psychotherapist, I’m fighting for teacher mental health because as the saying goes ‘Happy mum equals happy baby,’ I believe happy, healthy teachers with fulfilled lives outside of school are the best educators for our children and future generations.
Priya Burton MBACP
Psychotherapist, Ex-teacher, Mum & Campaigner