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Building the effective recovery of education from the impact of the pandemic requires support to rebuild the mental health and wellbeing of teachers as well as pupils, representatives from Scotland have told the Annual Conference of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union today.

The pandemic has exacerbated problems of excessive workload and the associated strain on teachers’ wellbeing which existed even prior to Covid. Members have called on the Scottish Government to commit to practical steps to addressing and improving the working conditions of teachers as part of a post-pandemic strategy for education.

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Teachers have pulled out all the stops to adjust to the unprecedented circumstances imposed on schools by the pandemic and to maintain education provision and support for their pupils in very difficult circumstances.

“The past year has taken a significant toll on the mental health and morale of the profession, often exacerbated by the Scottish Government’s response to the pandemic and the decisions made by ministers about schools and education.

“In looking ahead to a post-pandemic landscape, ministers and employers now must address the impact of Covid on the profession and commit to working with teachers and their representatives to ensure that teachers have the working conditions which will enable their physical and mental recovery and allow them to focus on meeting the needs of pupils.”

Jane Peckham, NASUWT National Official Scotland, said:

“Ministers have been fulsome in their praise and thanks for the efforts of teachers during this pandemic, but words are not enough.

“Ministers must now show they genuinely value the work of the profession by providing them with the pay levels and working conditions which both recognise and reward them as skilled essential workers and which also help to protect their physical and mental health through strategies to reduce excessive bureaucracy and workload.”

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