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'Covid-19 has caused a further decline in wellbeing for teachers and principals'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An ERO survey released today shows that over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, teacher and principal wellbeing has markedly declined.

Survey results show that teachers’ enjoyment of work has declined from 62 percent to 56 percent and only a third felt that their workload was manageable, down from 42 percent last year.

Only 57 percent of teachers reported they were satisfied with their life compared to 86 percent of New Zealanders rating their life satisfaction highly (Statistics NZ).

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford says that these results are extremely concerning however, unfortunately, they are not surprising.

"Teacher workload and wellbeing were significant issues for educators before the pandemic. However, the extra pressure and stress of the last two years has significantly increased these concerns and many teachers are struggling.

"To truly address teacher wellbeing we need to fix the underlying causes of stress - which are workload and resourcing. This survey reports that younger teachers were three times as likely to say they were unhappy at work as compared to their older colleagues. This is particularly concerning in a sector that is already understaffed and struggling to recruit educators.

"The PÅ«aotanga staffing report released earlier this year made clear that current primary staffing is inadequate. Next year, teachers and principals will be looking for increased staffing and resourcing to meet the challenges of education in this new environment."

Auckland teacher, Kahli Oliveira says it can’t go on much longer the way it is.

"The last two years have been a real challenge, especially living in Tāmaki Makaurau. My colleagues and I are at the frontline both facilitating learning but also supporting students and their whānau each day.

"As teachers we do everything we can for our students, to help them feel supported and ensure they are receiving the best education possible. However, the workload is just growing and growing. Where will it end?"

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