Educational Institutions: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the (a mental and (b) physical health of (i) teachers and (ii) school and college staff.

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

The Department recognises the pressure that teachers and leaders in schools and colleges are under. We are enormously grateful to them for their efforts, resilience and service to our country’s children and young people as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has been working closely with members of our Expert Advisory Group on staff wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, and we understand the pressures that teachers and leaders are facing.

The Department has taken decisive action to fund a pilot with Education Support to provide professional supervision from experts and peer support for school leaders, managing the pressures caused by COVID-19. This service will run until at least December 2020, and the outcome of the pilot will inform future wellbeing and mental health interventions. Alongside this, the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training programme is already supporting staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures children and young people may be experiencing because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In June, the Department announced a range of commitments to support the wellbeing of teachers and other education professionals in schools and colleges. These include the creation of a wellbeing charter for the teaching sector. The charter will help create an open culture around wellbeing and mental health, breaking down stigma, and will include a range of commitments by the Government and for employers in schools and colleges to promote and protect staff wellbeing. Further information on this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

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