Expert panel to drive teacher wellbeing support changes


Education experts, school leaders and union representatives are among a 26-strong panel tasked with enhancing teacher mental health and wellbeing.

Led by mental health charity Mind chief executive Paul Farmer, the group of experts has met for the first time to discuss how classroom pressures can be reduced.

After gathering evidence from teachers and school leaders, the panel is due to provide a set of recommendations for the Department for Education.

While a date is yet to be finalised for when that will occur, a spokesperson suggested that it will be in early 2020.

Education secretary Damian Hinds announced plans for the advisory panel in March this year, while schools minister Nick Gibb – who was present at the first meeting – said it will have a “crucial role to play”.

Among those at the first meeting were Sinead McBrearty, chief executive of the charity Education Support Partnership, Leora Cruddas, chief executive of the Confederation of School Trusts and Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association.

Others included Tom Bennett, founder of ResearchED and a government advisor on behaviour, and the assistant general secretary of the National Education Union Nansi Ellis.

The National Association of Head Teachers’ director of policy, James Bowen and the deputy director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, Sara Ford, were also both present on the panel.

Also attending the initial discussion were Bill Watkin, chief executive of the Sixth Form College Association, Faye Craster, director of teacher development at Teach First and the Chartered College of Teaching’s head of online learning and community Hannah Tyreman.

A number of head teachers, college directors and university staff completed the panel.