• Question: Do you think that the increasing demands of the education system is having an impact on students and teachers mental health?

    Asked by anon-216420 to Robert, Olly, Nicola, Jasmin, Dennis, Caroline on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Dennis Relojo-Howell

      Dennis Relojo-Howell answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Yes. According to one report, two years ago, more than half of UK teachers have a diagnosed mental health problem. Both teachers and students are expected to do more in less time.

    • Photo: Caroline Brett

      Caroline Brett answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Short answer: Yes.

    • Photo: Robert Dempsey

      Robert Dempsey answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Yes, definitely. The same applies for students/lecturers in universities. I think too much pressure is placed on students and staff in the education system in terms of league tables and meeting certain targets (e.g. number of pass marks, student satisfaction). I think we need to rethink what education is there for and recognise that just because we can ‘measure’ something doesn’t mean that the ‘measure’ is actually meaningful. Being a teacher in school/college or an academic at university can be one of the most stressful jobs out there – especially the amount of pressure placed on staff.

    • Photo: Nicola Johnstone

      Nicola Johnstone answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      Anecdotally, this seems to be the case. What we need a is large study to test this out – examining demands and mental health. I’m not sure that there is one at present.

    • Photo: Jasmin Moon

      Jasmin Moon answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      I can’t answer this very well for students, but I support a lot of teachers who struggle with their own mental health because of the demands placed on them in their work.
      Often they tell me that they are given unrealistic workloads and have to spend all weekend marking and planning so they don’t have very much ‘down time’ to relax. If you combine this with frequent observations, having to meet lots of targets and demands from parents and their managers then you can understand why they become stressed!
      It’s important teachers have an opportunity to talk about their work and how they are feeling.

    • Photo: Oliver Clabburn

      Oliver Clabburn answered on 14 Jun 2019:

      Yes, I’d say so- and all across the education system from preschool – University. Each institute is scored so rigorously against other schools/universities, that it’s really important to get high scores. This means pressure for management of the institute, which is then cascaded down to teachers and staff. As they feel pressured and stressed, this clearly cascades down even further to the students! Ultimately, it means that everyone under that one school/college/university roof, have a massive amount of pressure to perform which leads to high levels of stress!