Best Practice Guide
COVID lockdowns hit education sector hard
Between COVID lockdowns and remote learning, educators have had a rough go of it. Data has recently confirmed how much educators’ mental health and wellbeing have been affected.
The Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University, for one, issued its Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey.
Headline findings were dismaying. School leaders were found to have worked an average of 55.6 hours a week in 2021. That’s while dealing with a sharp increase in partial and/or complete school closures – up 26.1 per cent from the year before.
Closures, experienced by nearly two thirds of respondents, led to elevated rates of burnout and cognitive stress, particularly among younger educators – the highest recorded since the survey began. Indeed, 29 per cent of school leaders received a red flag email alerting them of their risk to at least one of Quality of Life, Occupational Health, and Self-harm.
Beyond school closures, school leaders had other keen sources of stress. Many of which persisted from 2020. The main sources included the following:
- Sheer quantity of work
- Lack of time to focus on teaching and learning
- Mental health issues of students
- Expectations of the employer
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