Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers, with endless fulfilment and fun. Nonetheless, like with any other profession, it is not without its challenges.
A study published by Education Support revealed that work-related stress affects 75% of education staff in the UK, primarily due to heavy workloads, administrative paperwork, and challenging pupil behaviours.
In this blog, we highlight the measures Scottish independent schools are taking to support their teachers’ wellbeing.
Providing a strong support network
Scotland’s independent schools value the health and wellbeing of their staff, providing additional support and assistance to teachers who need it. Staff are encouraged to raise any concerns with the school management team, who will work with the individual to resolve the issue. Access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is designed to assist staff dealing with personal issues that may affect their work performance, health, and overall well-being. EAP services typically include assessments and short-term counselling, with the goal of helping teachers address personal challenges so that they can maintain a positive work-life balance.
Various measures are put in place to reduce causes of stress in independent schools, from providing teaching assistants to support staff, to ensuring small teacher-to-student ratios. Such strategies share the workload, allow staff members to deliver the highest quality teaching, and prevent a single teacher from becoming overwhelmed. For example, St Leonards School focuses on working smarter and more efficiently to allow teachers plenty of down-time.
Regular breaks and a competitive holiday allowance also afford teachers plenty of time off to recharge and relax.
Leading a healthy lifestyle
SCIS schools understand the importance of keeping our educators in great shape, both physically and mentally. That's why independent Scottish schools such as Fettes and Merchiston offer teachers full access to on-site gym facilities and equipment, while St Leonards staff have been known to take a dook in the sea before work! Proven to reduce symptoms of stress and low mood, teachers are encouraged to take part in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy mind.
Moreover, independent school staff enjoy the same nutrient-dense, fresh meals as those served up to pupils, fuelling their bodies and minds for the day ahead.
Access to resources
SCIS provides its member schools with a variety of useful resources, guidance and training focusing on supporting the mental health of the whole school community. These materials aim to inform and support teachers to best manage potential work stressors to ensure they can make the most out of this wonderful profession.
Are you interested in teaching at one of Scotland’s independent schools? Take a look at our vacancies page here to find job openings at SCIS member schools.