Scottish government introduces mental health support package for school staff

Scottish government introduces mental health support package

The Scottish government has introduced a new funding package to support the mental health of employees working at schools due to the pressures of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, effective October 2020.

The mental health support, provided by Barnardo’s Scotland, and charity Place2Be, will provide online one-to-one counselling sessions, as well as wellbeing workshops that employees can choose from to aid their mental health. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, most of these individual sessions and workshops will be held virtually through Zoom sessions.

The government will also introduce learning opportunities for teachers post-probation, to develop new coaching and mentoring opportunities for employees at school that need more help and guidance on their careers the most. The package of support for employees working at schools has been developing with organisations that represent the Education Recovery Group, a government board committing to supporting the health and wellbeing of all staff working in schools.

John Winney, education secretary, said: “Supporting the health and wellbeing of teachers and other staff is of paramount importance. This was true before Coronavirus, but it is of crucial importance as school staff support our children and young people to recover from the pandemic. This additional package of measures will complement the excellent practice which is already taking place to support the wellbeing of staff in schools across Scotland.”

Ken Muir, chief executive at the general teaching council (GTC), said: “GTC Scotland is pleased to deliver this important support to hard-working teachers in collaboration with our partners in education. GTC Scotland has invested heavily in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education professionals and we look forward to continuing to do so.”