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FEATURE: UK EXAM LANDSCAPE


The stress epidemic – what can be done to address mental health and wellbeing in the staffroom?


She is also Chief Executive and Founding Director of the Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education – an Independent Higher Education College training child and adolescent psychotherapists, child counsellors, parent-child therapists and art therapists. She is also a founder of the Helping Where it Hurts programme, which offers free art therapy to troubled children in Islington Primary schools. Here, she shares her thoughts on the approach that should be taken by education bodies and school leaders to address mental health and wellbeing of teachers. “Policy changes, budget cuts, fewer staff and


bigger classes are blamed for taking a toll on teachers’ mental health, according to figures recently compiled by the Liberal Democrats. With


3,750 teachers (one in 83) on long-term sick year last year due to pressure of work, anxiety and mental illness, the National Education Union has warned of an ‘epidemic of stress’. “So what are the statistics telling us about


work-related stress and mental health issues in the education sector? “More than three quarters of teachers are


seriously considering leaving their job, according to YouGov research commissioned by the Education Support Partnership in 2017. One of the key reasons is because their job is causing poor mental and physical health – 75% of teachers experienced physical and mental health issues in the last two years due to their work (Education Support Partnership, Health Survey,


E


xam season can be a worrying time for pupils, but it’s sometimes easy to forget


that teachers also find this time of year stressful. In our first look at the UK exam landscape, we speak to Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London. Dr Sutherland is an eminent child psychologist, psychotherapist, neuroscience expert, Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University and a highly acclaimed author of more than 20 books in the field of child mental health. She is Co-Director of the not-for-profit organisation, Trauma Informed Schools UK – a group of senior educationalists and psychologists running university-validated programmes on mental health training for teachers in schools.


30 www.education-today.co.uk June 2018


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