A new survey shows that teachers from independent schools were more likely to report feeling anxious about returning to school in September compared to teachers from other types of schools.
Out of 500 primary and secondary school teachers taking part in The Education Barometer survey, commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance, 72% felt anxious about returning to school in September, with the main concerns revolving around the risks of Covid-19.
However, within the 120 teachers from independent schools, 80% said they felt anxious about returning to school. Independent school teachers were also most concerned about the risks of Covid-19 (77.08%), as well as the extra workload (47.92%) and pupil behaviour (37.50%).
Out of all the teachers surveyed, nine out of 10 (90%) agreed that schools will see a rise in pupil mental health concerns as students adapt to school life after months of online learning.
Young people’s wellbeing is now one of the greatest concerns, for not just teachers, but for the whole of our society – Dr Dominique Thompson
Sixty-two percent felt that pupil stress and anxiety will be the biggest challenge schools will face when opening in September. Independent school teachers reported dealing with further government guideline changes as a top challenge, followed by pupil stress and anxiety, and then managing pupils and staff with underlying health issues.
When asked whether their school has a plan in place for further lockdowns, more independent school teachers said yes (75%) than teachers from other types of schools.
Dr Dominique Thompson, university GP, student mental health expert and author, said: “Young people’s wellbeing is now one of the greatest concerns, for not just teachers, but for the whole of our society. It is particularly worrying for parents and teachers, as the poorer the wellbeing of the next generation, the higher the risk to their future achievements.”
Faith Kitchen, Ecclesiastical education director, said it’s an “incredibly challenging time for the education sector” due to the anticipated rise in pupil mental health concerns and teacher anxiety.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll from 10-20 August 2020.