Health

Secret Teacher: I hated teaching – until I realised my school was the problem | Teacher Network

Not so long ago, I was ready to quit teaching. Now, I’ve got my sights on leadership. The difference is my headteacher. Under my previous head, I got the point where I couldn’t go on. I was signed off work with anxiety and stress. At school, we’d been under intense pressure to get more children to expected levels to show the school was improving – and were always on edge thanks to drop-in observations. As a member of the school…

Read More

I returned to uni for freshers’ week 20 years after leaving. Here’s what has changed | Education

In the autumn of 1997, I was a fresher at the University of Glasgow. Months after the Labour landslide, weeks after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, I was an 18-year-old British-Indian made up of equal parts teenage kicks, terror and Topshop – and on my way to Scotland for the first time, to live and study in a city I had never even visited. I was a 90s Londoner in every sense: geographically ignorant, cocky, earnestly carrying a…

Read More

Teachers Are More Stressed Out Than You Probably Think – Education Article

 When I was just a new teacher, I remember my doctor asking me if I had a high stress job.   I said that I taught middle school, as if that answered his question. But he took it to mean that I had it easy. After all – as he put it – I just played with children all day.   Now after 16 years in the classroom and a series of chronic medical conditions including heart disease, Crohn’s Disease…

Read More

‘We’re confused, angry and anxious over Brexit … and so are the children we teach’ | Education

Ed Finch, teacher, Larkrise primary school, OxfordThere’s another general election coming and I am sick to my stomach at the thought of how I’ll discuss that in class or in assembly. How can I present, in a balanced and non-judgmental way, the appalling invective that has been normalised these last few weeks? How can I suggest to pupils that adults who posture, threaten, lie and break the law are worthy of our respect? We are required to teach “British values”…

Read More

Six ways to stay healthy when you’re stressed | Life and style

Human beings are not built to endure prolonged periods of stress. If you want to see an extreme example of what it can do to a person, observe prime ministers as they enter and exit Downing Street. Before, fresh-faced, they simper for the cameras. Afterwards, they are gaunt, grey and lined. It is like watching an accelerated version of ageing, and a reminder of how stress corrodes the human body. We live in stressful times, though. More people are scratching…

Read More

Workers feel more stress and anxiety than ever before. We need to talk about this | Elliot Perlman | Books

In towns and cities across Australia, one gets the sense that many people are just barely hanging on. You see it on their faces, hear it in their voices, and sometimes even fear the consequences of it via spontaneous outbursts of public incivility over things that, decades ago, one would not have expected to cause any disturbance of the peace. You see it on the street in the menacing – or at least defensive – looks people give one another,…

Read More

‘My hand shook so much I spilled my tea’: a guide for the introverted fresher | Education

The start of each university year brings fresh images of young students draped over each other in an alcoholic haze, relishing their first taste of freedom. There’s partying until the early hours and the shared pain of hangovers in the morning. But what happens to those who don’t drink, or find it hard to meet and socialise with strangers? Although they don’t lose their phones or ruin their new trainers with paint bombs, there is no disguising the fact that…

Read More

Teaching workload: requires improvement | Letters | Education

Your editorial (19 September) begins to unpick some of the reasons why retention and, in some areas, recruitment are such a problem in this beleaguered and overwhelmed profession. Successive attempts to address this problem have failed to grasp the true causes which are, depressingly, characterised by the report of the leaked government document advocating swapping “workload-inducing practices for evidence-based approaches”. This, like all the other initiatives, is an attempt to shift the responsibility for this matter on to schools, thereby…

Read More

The Guardian view on teacher workloads: big lessons to learn | Editorial | Opinion

The new secretary of state for education, Gavin Williamson, knows a lot about the heavy workloads piled on teachers. His wife used to teach in a primary school. Then she left the profession to become a teaching assistant partly because, he said this month, “there was always a big challenge in terms of workload, and this is one of the things we need to address”. Indeed. More than personal experience, hard figures back up the cabinet minister’s worry. A new…

Read More

Ofsted chief: pupils’ wellbeing at risk as sport is squeezed out of schools | Education

The Ofsted chief inspector has called on the government to do more to increase sport in schools amid growing concern that physical education is being squeezed out of the curriculum as a result of funding cuts and excessive focus on exam results. Amanda Spielman told the Observer it was essential that ministers and school leaders acted to show they understood what should be obvious – that sport and exercise for young people were vital parts of a full and balanced…

Read More

700 English schools reported over asbestos safety concerns | Education

Nearly 700 schools have been referred to the national health and safety body over concerns they are failing to safely manage asbestos in their buildings, potentially putting thousands of staff and pupils at risk, it has been revealed. It is thought that about 90% of school buildings in England contain asbestos, often around pipes and boilers, and in wall and ceiling tiles. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises that it is only a risk if it is disturbed or…

Read More

#FaceTheFacts: It’s time to bust the myths on comprehensive sexuality education – Education Article

Image: Luciana Ianiri Comprehensive sexuality education is an essential part of a good quality education that improves sexual and reproductive health, argues Facing the Facts, our newest policy paper out today jointly with UNESCO. Released at the Women Deliver Conference during an event with Rt Hon. Helen Clark, the First Lady of Namibia and Vivian Onano, the paper explores the resistance to sexuality education in many countries and the obstacles to its implementation, seeking ways to overcome them. Globally, each…

Read More

Time to stop neglecting education for adults | Letters | Education

Gaby Hinsliff is right (My dad studied late in life. He wouldn’t get the chance now, 1 June). She knows from family experience that mature learning is rich in rewards both professional and personal. The Augar report acknowledges this, making positive recommendations as to how to extend its reach: the reintroduction of maintenance grants is particularly helpful. Welcome as it is, this development merely foreshadows what should be a policy direction for the future. As president of Birkbeck I know…

Read More

Higher education staff suffer ‘epidemic’ of poor mental health | Education

The number of university workers accessing counselling and occupational health services has shot up, according to research which describes “an epidemic” of poor mental health among higher education staff. Freedom of information requests revealed that at one university, staff referrals to counselling services went up more than 300% over a six-year period up to 2015 while, at another, referrals to occupational health soared by more than 400%. There has been growing awareness of the crisis in student mental health in…

Read More

What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Concussions – Education Article

Whether you work with preschoolers, elementary-age or older kids, head injuries are going to happen. And the reality is teachers are often on the front line when it comes to concussions. Here’s what you need to know. What is a concussion? A concussion is “a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally works.” A bump, blow, or jolt to the head can cause a concussion. “Concussions can also occur from a fall or blow to the…

Read More

‘It’s cut-throat’: half of UK academics stressed and 40% thinking of leaving | Education

When Ed Harris, a management lecturer at a modern university, stopped sleeping and began having marriage problems, he realised he was no longer coping with the pressures of his job. “Most of the time you handle it, but the anger and unhappiness build up,” says Harris (not his real name). “I was constantly stressed. There was a lot of micromanagement and setting of deadlines and I was always working late and checking emails at all hours.” Harris says he went…

Read More