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Well-being & Burnout in Teaching: Unpacking the Causes & Tackling Problems

Dr Judith Hanks, School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

This project, conducted jointly between University of Leeds, National Education Union, and National Association of Schoolmasters & Union of Women Teachers, examines the causes of well-being and burnout in teaching, generating a range of practitioner-focused guides and support materials, focused on tackling stress, improving well-being and mental health, and reducing burnout.

This much-needed work comes amidst a crisis in the teaching profession. TEacher absences from work are increasing, and nearly one in three teachers leave the profession within five years of qualifying (Department for Education, 2017). Teachers are twice as likely as the average worker to suffer work-related stress and burnout, whilst poor mental health amongst teachers is know to be increasing (National Foundation for Educational Research, 2017). Meanwhile, government recruitment initiatives, such as providing financial incentives to enter the teaching profession, appear to be failing.

This project analyses the causes of burnout and poor well-being rather than the symptoms. Investigating resources to reduce burnout and improve management practices can help reduce teacher absence and staff turnover and thus teacher retention. In turn, these understandings will help to tackle the negative consequences of teacher burnout for children's education and well-being, generating economic benefits and enhancing social cohesion.

More information on the Leeds Teacher Wellbeing Project can be found here

Dr Judith Hanks can be contacted by email: