94% of teachers and 97% of support staff respondents believe that poverty or low income affects learning.
A quarter of respondents say they have no access to CAMHS for their students and 80% say that excessive workload is a barrier to getting the right help for their pupils.
16% of teachers plan to leave in two years, and 41% plan to be gone within five.
The State of Education survey gauges the views of working teacher, support staff and school leader NEU members in England and Wales.
Recruitment and retention
- One in six teachers plan to quit the education sector within the next two years; two-fifths plan to quit within five years.
- A quarter of school support staff plan to quit within two years, and half intend to leave within five years.
- Workload is the main reason teachers intend to quit, followed by the feeling that the profession is not valued or trusted, followed by pay.
- Pay is the top reason school support staff say they intend to leave, followed by the feeling that the profession is not valued or trusted, and a lack of career progression.
- Members reported a worsening since pre-pandemic on almost every measure of recruitment and retention in their workplace.
- Three-quarters of members say school sickness absence has worsened since before Covid
- Most members said they had reduced home heating in order to save energy costs; around a quarter had skipped meals and a fifth took on a second job in response to rising living costs.
- Four in ten teachers and half of school support staff have “acted up” into a role in the past year due to staff shortages, however only around a fifth were paid to do so.
Workload and wellbeing
- Almost half of teachers told us that their workload is unmanageable most or all of the time. Another third reported that their workload is only just manageable.
- These figures show no improvement on last year.
- Stress levels among educators are dangerously high.
- Over two thirds of teachers say they feel stressed more than 60% of the time they are at work, including over a third who are stressed more than 80% of the time.
- Almost half of school support staff are stressed at least 60% of their time at work, including a fifth are stressed more than 80% of the time.
- Two-thirds of teachers and a third of school support staff worry very often about the impact of workload on their wellbeing; almost all worry about it at least occasionally.
- The most widely-supported Government actions on workload are those needing finance: increased funding for staffing, and greater classroom support for pupils with additional needs.
- The most popular workplace action to support wellbeing among teachers would be a reduction in workload; among support staff it would be an improved working environment.
- All members still feel very positive about their ability to make a difference to their pupils, both in terms of their educations and their broader lives.
- Teachers feel overwhelmingly negative about the status of the profession and their own work-life balance.
- Teachers are less likely to say they are fully able to exercise their professional judgement on aspects of work than a year ago.
- When asked about various types of CPD, around a third of teachers had either not received any or not received enough of each type in the past year.
- Over a third of teachers say the CPD they were asked to undertake outside working hours was too much.
- A quarter of school support staff said they had not received any in-person CPD in the past year; another quarter said they had received some, but not enough.
- Almost all members said that poverty impacts on pupils’ learning.
- Teachers in the most disadvantaged schools are twice as likely to say poverty impacts learning “to a large extent” as teachers in the least disadvantaged schools.
- Three out of five teachers say pupils show signs of hunger at school due to poverty and two-thirds of teachers have pupils coming to school in unclean/damaged or ill-fitting clothes.
- Over two-thirds of teachers and support staff said that poverty-related hunger and tiredness led to pupils disrupting their lessons.
- Almost two-thirds of teachers say their pupils have frequent ill-health, a significant increase on previous years.
- Three-quarters of teachers and support staff say either their school or they personally help with uniform for disadvantage pupils.
- Two-thirds of teachers and support staff say they or their school help with period products; three in five say they or their school provide extra food for hungry pupils.
- Four fifths of teachers back free school meals (FSM) for all primary school pupils; six out of seven back giving holiday food vouchers worth at least £15pw to pupils in receipt of FSM.
Pupil/student mental health
- The mental health of pupils/students continues to be a concern, exacerbated by the lasting effects of the Covid pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.
- Over three quarters of teachers felt that there were not enough Learning Support Assistants.
- A third of teachers said that there is not enough CAMHS support, and a quarter said their school has no access to CAMHS support at all.
- Over half of teachers reported that there is insufficient access to a school/college counsellor while over a quarter said there is no access at all.
- Half of teachers said that they have no mental health lead and over a third said they have insufficient access.
- Four fifths of teachers and two thirds of support staff say workload is a large barrier to being able to support pupil mental health.
- Two thirds of teachers and support staff say insufficient school staffing levels create a large barrier to supporting pupil mental health.
- Two thirds of teachers and support staff say a lack of access to external support services such as CAMHS is a large barrier to supporting pupil mental health.
- Only one in eight members felt Mental Health Support Teams had allowed their school to provide increased support for mental health issues.
- Schools very often use punitive measures to promote positive behaviour, even though last year’s survey suggested these are among the least effective approaches.
- Half of teachers say in-lesson sanctions are used frequently, along with just over a third who use post-lesson sanctions frequently.
- More supportive measures are also used: half of teachers try to understand of their pupils’ emotional needs frequently to improve behaviour; almost half frequently use strategies to promote good communication with pupils.
- A third of teachers say they frequently use wellbeing rooms and pastoral support to promote positive behaviour.
- Support staff are invaluable but in short supply: only a quarter of teachers frequently have support staff in lessons to help promote good behaviour, even though over 40% last year described the approach as “very effective”.
- Members are much more likely to use supportive measures to improve attendance rather than punitive ones.
- Five in six teachers said their school uses an approach of engagement with parents/families to improve pupil attendance; six in ten said they offer support for parents and families.
- Four in ten teachers use flexible timetables and curriculum to increase attendance, and the same proportion use counselling and mental health support.
- Just a quarter of teacher members said their school makes greater use of fines and penalties to improve attendance.
- About two-thirds of school teachers in England and Wales rate their schools’ inclusion policies as good or excellent, compared with one in ten who rate them as bad.
- Primary and special school teachers gave higher scores than secondary counterparts for their schools’ plans for girls, black pupils and disabled pupils.
- Special school teachers were particularly positive about their schools’ plans to tackle discrimination against disabled pupils.
- Secondary teachers were more likely to think their school’s plan to tackle LGBT+ discrimination was good or excellent than primary school teachers.
- Consistently fewer teachers from Black, Asian and mixed ethnic backgrounds thought their schools’ plan to tackle barriers and stereotypes were good/excellent than White teachers.
Facilities and the school environment
- There is a wide disparity in the quality of school facilities between the state and independent sectors.
- General maintenance of buildings/infrastructure was rated as bad or poor by a quarter of English and Welsh state teachers, compared to one in ten independent school teachers.
- Ventilation was rated as bad or poor by almost a third of English and Welsh state school teachers, compared to one in six independent school teachers.
- Arts facilities were rated as bad or poor by almost a third of English state school teachers; over a third of Welsh state school teachers; and one in eight independent school teachers.
- Outdoor recreational space was rated as good or excellent by around half of English and Welsh state teachers at their schools, and by three quarters of independent school teachers.
- School preparedness for extreme weather was rated as bad or poor by around four in ten English and Welsh state school teachers, and by a quarter of independent school teachers.
- Energy efficiency was rated as bad or poor by almost four in ten English state school teachers; by just over a third of Welsh state school teachers; and just under a third of independent school teachers.
Oak National Academy
- Only around a fifth of teachers use Oak National Academy resources.
- Around a quarter of secondary teachers use Oak, compared to around one in six primary or special school teachers.
- One in five support staff in English state schools use Oak.
- A quarter of teachers using Oak reported that it had decreased their workload, two thirds reported no impact and one in twenty said that it had increased their workload.
- A third of secondary teachers that used Oak said it had reduced their workload, compared with a fifth of primary teachers that used it and one in six special school teachers.