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Chaplaincy on the rise as stressed teachers seek support

The number of school and college chaplains has more than doubled in the past decade, with support for stressed teachers becoming an important part of their role.

Church of England figures show that the number of school chaplains has grown from 200 to more than 400 in the past 10 years.

The role of chaplain “varies hugely, from comforting students in the aftermath of a tragedy or helping to celebrate their successes to quietly listening to a tutor who is facing redundancy or exploring what it means to believe in God at all”, according to the Reverend Garry Neave, the CofE’s lead on chaplaincy.

In an article for TES, he writes that a chaplain “may be the one person the principal can unburden themself to.” 

The Reverend John Seymour, chaplain of Twyford CofE High School in Acton, West London, said that he made a point of speaking to teachers who seem troubled.

“You can see on their faces when they’re stressed, whether it’s about work or their personal life,” he said. “I go into their classroom at a quiet time and say, ‘How are you at the moment?’

"I think the fact that they can articulate what’s going on helps them to make decisions about what they want to do, rather than feeling trapped by it.”

To read the full story, get the 3 April edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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