Teachers: Stress

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th February 2019.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Independent, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to tackle (a) increased levels of stress among education professionals and (b) the effect of that stress on the recruitment and retention of teachers.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

In January 2019, the Department launched the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. This includes commitments to radically simplify the accountability system, limit the amount of change that schools have to deliver and provide extra support to tackle challenging pupil behaviour. It is also introducing an Early Career Framework for teachers, which includes mentor support, so that newly qualified teachers receive the support they need. The strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-recruitment-and-retention-strategy.

The strategy sets out the areas where Government can make the most difference most quickly. It also marks the beginning of a conversation with head teachers about how the Department can support them to set a culture in their school that reduces unnecessary planning, marking and data requirements, supports teachers to deal with disruptive behaviour, and establishes a culture that values continued professional development and flexible working at all career stages.

The Department continues to work with unions, teachers and Ofsted to challenge and remove unnecessary workload. A joint letter from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State and other key national organisations was sent to school leaders in November confirming their support to help reduce workload in schools. The Department has accepted all the recommendations of the Making Data Work report and published a workload reduction toolkit as part of an ongoing programme to tackle excessive workload in schools. The report and Government response can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-workload-advisory-group-report-and-government-response.

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