Teacher happiness review suggests staff love life in the classroom

2020-01-13

A career in teaching provides more happiness and job satisfaction than the average graduate role, according to a new study into teacher wellbeing.


The Education Policy Institute carried out a review after some negative headlines have questioned whether teacher mental health is declining.


It comes after the Department for Education created an expert panel in 2019 to investigate ways of boosting teacher and school leader wellbeing, with recommendations expected in the coming months.


Based on the evidence presented for the review, teachers in mainstream education are generally happier and more satisfied with life than the average graduate.


In addition to that, teachers tend to view their lives as being more worthwhile, in recognition of their ability to make a real difference in the classroom.


Odette Wang, who compiled the research based on the annual population survey from The Office for National Statistics, said the data showcases the complex nature of teaching.


She pointed out that while those displaying high positive wellbeing also showed greater stress levels, it “indicates that the profession is one in which the majority find their work as demanding as it is rewarding”.


Of all teaching staff, those teaching in special schools were found to be the happiest while lower levels of happiness were reported among secondary school teachers.


Primary school teachers also revealed higher levels of job satisfaction than their counterparts in secondary schools, although those teaching in the latter were likely to have lower levels of anxiety.


School leaders revealed they have faced greater pressures in recent years too, and although they have high anxiety levels, they displayed the highest levels of positive wellbeing.


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