https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/05/school-funding-and-teacher-mental-health/

School funding and teacher mental health

a table and chairs in a classroom

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the school funding protests led by Labour MP Jess Phillips and Save Our Schools, happening in London today, as well as the first meetings of the teacher mental health and wellbeing advisory group, which took place this week.

School funding protests

Today, Friday 5 July, Jess Phillips and Save Our Schools, held a protest over school funding. The protest – named ‘Give me 5’ – is about schools closing early on Fridays, blaming a lack of funding.

This story was covered by the Guardian and in an interview on Victoria Derbyshire.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The funding for an average primary class of 28 in Birmingham is £125,000 – above the national average of £115,000 for an equivalent sized class. These amounts are to cover a full five-day week in term time.

Teaching mental health advisory group

The Department has launched a government-led a group of health and wellbeing experts to provide more support for school and college staff to deal with pressures at work. The group, which was announced by Damian Hinds at the ASCL Conference in March, met for the first time this week to discuss ways of better supporting teachers to stay happy and motivated.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:

One thing that strikes me when I meet teachers in every school is their selflessness and their willingness to go above and beyond to help their pupils. However, like any important and rewarding job, life as a teacher brings its own challenges and pressures.

I saw first-hand the crucial role this group will play in providing us with expert advice to help prioritise teachers’ mental health and wellbeing – setting a positive example for pupils.

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Anne Milton said:

Teachers and heads in schools and colleges face similar challenges and pressures. We want to make sure that we give the right support to those at the front line of education. This group will help us understand how we can do this best.

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