ISC Research has released a new report looking at how the wellbeing of students and staff at international schools has been affected by Covid-19.
In November and December 2020, 628 staff in international schools in 109 countries were surveyed, including teachers, leaders with a teaching role, leaders with a non-teaching role, administrators and school counsellors.
The report, which was created in collaboration with International Education Psychology Services, shows an increase in awareness of staff and student wellbeing has been prompted by the pandemic.
For example, when asked if they felt the international school they worked in is concerned about their personal wellbeing, 68% said they agreed or strongly agreed that their school did. This can be compared with the results from ISC Research’s 2018 survey where only 57% of respondents felt this way.
When asked if their school has supported their wellbeing through the challenges of Covid-19, 71% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed their school had. However, when analysing this statement based on role, while 74% of all leaders agreed, only 44% of teachers agreed.
Respondents noted active support of colleagues (70%) and active support of the senior leadership team (58%) as the two most beneficial wellbeing support measures. Staff group events (online or in person) were considered beneficial by 41% of respondents. However, 11% of respondents said there is no wellbeing support for staff at their school.
The report also shows individual resilience, inter-personal reliance and a sense of belonging has increased for most international school stakeholders as a result of facing the challenges of Covid-19.
Whilst international schools faced similar challenges to schools everywhere, they also experienced additional challenges as a result of the high percentage of expatriate staff who were impacted by country border restrictions.
When asked which aspects of the job have been particularly challenging, 73% of respondents said increased stress due to the impact of Covid-19, 63% noted travel restrictions and 62% said increased workload due to Covid-19.
The report also shows parent-staff relationships have strengthened, with 83% feeling they could count on the support of most of their parents. This is an increase from the 2018 survey when 62% of respondents felt they could count on the support of most of their parents.
The report covers staff perceptions of their role, parent relationships with staff, student-staff relationships and whole school wellbeing. There are practical suggestions on how teachers and school leaders can respond proactively to their own wellbeing and that of others.
You can download the full report online.