The EIS has welcomed the publication of the NHS Scotland report Supporting Teachers' mental health and wellbeing: Evidence Review.
There is significant evidence that teaching is amongst the most stressful occupations, with serious implications for the mental health & wellbeing of teachers and on the learning experience of pupils.
The EIS is currently in the midst of a major campaign – Time to Tackle Workload – which is focusing on tackling excessive teacher workload as a means to improve teachers' work/life balance.
Commenting on the publication of the Report, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "This review is a significant publication which makes a useful addition to the evidence on work-related stress and its impact on teachers' mental health.
"The review highlights the absence of school-level interventions to support teachers' mental health, and makes clear that this can have a significant impact both on the wellbeing of teachers and, additionally, on the learning experience and educational outcomes of pupils. As the review notes, a number of major EIS surveys in recent years have highlighted the large numbers of teachers who are experiencing high degrees of stress as a result of their jobs."
"This is an issue that must be tackled, or we will see an increasing number of teachers becoming ill, experiencing burnout and being driven from the profession prematurely."
Mr Flanagan added, "The last major survey that the EIS conducted, in late 2018, was as part of our Value Education, Value Teachers pay campaign. This important and highly representative survey was the largest study of teachers' views for many years, with 12,250 teachers from across the country taking part."
"While the major focus of that campaign was on improving pay, the responses from teachers to the survey made clear that severe workload and stress were major issues of concern. The current EIS Time to Tackle Workload campaign is seeking to address these issues, including through seeking commitments to reduce teachers' class contact commitment and to deliver reductions in class sizes across Scotland."
"The EIS is promoting a 20/20 vision for the future of Scottish schools – with maximum teacher class contact time of 20 hours a week, and maximum class sizes of 20 pupils. These changes would be positive for teachers and for pupils alike."
The EIS recently launched a new survey of its members to gather evidence in support of its workload campaign. The online survey can be accessed by EIS members via the Institute's Website at www.eis.org.uk