Most teachers suffering insomnia during Covid pandemic

Senior leaders have ‘reached breaking point’ under the extra strain of pandemic, which is ‘a step too far’, says charity

Coronavirus and teacher stress: Many teachers have reported sleep problems during the pandemic

There has been a sharp rise in teachers suffering with insomnia during the coronavirus pandemic, new research shows.

The findings, published today by the Education Support charity as part of its annual teacher wellbeing research, reveal that 52 per cent of teachers have reported difficulty sleeping during the pandemic – a jump from only 37 per cent who said they struggled with sleep in the previous two years.

The study also reveals that 41 per cent of teachers have cried at least once this year, compared with only 26 per cent who said they'd become tearful in the past two years.

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The charity’s CEO, Sinéad Mc Brearty, said: “The additional strain and anxiety generated by Covid-19 is a step too far.

"Senior leaders, in particular, have reached breaking point, stretched to the limit in being able to cope with the extraordinary pressures on top of existing stress.

Coronavirus: The mental health of teachers 'needs to be taken seriously'

“It is time to start taking the mental health of our teachers and educators seriously. The first step is investment. We ask the UK government to act now by providing education institutions with the resources needed to perform their duties effectively.

"If we don’t, we risk losing the much-needed talent and experience that can guide the education sector through recovery from the pandemic," she added.

The research was carried out in July by YouGov using a representative sample of 3,034 education professionals across the UK, including teachers and senior leaders.

It also shows that 40 per cent have had difficulty concentrating this year compared with only 23 per cent who said they suffered this in the past two years. There has also been a 10 per cent rise in dizziness and muscle tension.

One secondary school teacher told the charity: “The goalposts keep moving, and being able to do everything well is getting harder and harder, which is putting more and more stress on individual teachers and school communities.”

A primary headteacher said: “If I’m honest, at the present time, I feel like each day’s problems are impossible to solve.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We have taken consistent action to address teacher workload and wellbeing and invested millions in mental health charities to support teachers. This includes a new £8 million training programme run by experts to tackle the impact of coronavirus on pupils, parents and staff.”

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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