Poor behaviour in the classroom is one of the main causes of low morale among teachers according to Ofsted.

Shortly after we reported on the creation of a new Wellbeing Advisory Group which aims to help school and college staff look after their mental health (see “Supporting teachers’ wellbeing”), research by Ofsted confirms that the overall wellbeing of most teachers is low.

Teachers believe there is a lack of support for tackling poor classroom behaviour from both school leaders and parents, the research reveals.

Among other issues affecting teachers’ wellbeing are high workload, a lack of resources and relationships with parents.

Inspections carried out by Ofsted itself are identified as a source of stress, while staff also reported that they do not have enough influence over policy which, they claim, changes too quickly.

Negative feelings caused by these and other issues can lead to higher levels of sickness absence, Ofsted accepts, as well as to teachers leaving the profession entirely.

The regulator makes a number of recommendations for improving teachers’ wellbeing, including pointing out that leaders in schools and further education establishments must support teachers in consistently implementing behaviour policies.

Senior leaders should develop staff wellbeing by creating a positive working environment, the report argues, in which staff feel supported, valued and listened to – and have an appropriate level of autonomy.

In addition, the Department for Education (DfE) should continue to reduce administrative demands and to make sure that external support services, such as for special educational needs and disabilities are properly resourced.

The summary and recommendations of the Ofsted teacher wellbeing research report are available at www.gov.uk.

The report is based on initial responses from 2293 staff from 290 schools and 2053 staff from 67 further education and skills (FES) providers. Nineteen schools and six FES providers then participated in focus group interviews, based on the reported levels of well-being at work, phase of education, type of institution and region.

Last reviewed 28 August 2019