Can tech help solve the teachers’ wellbeing crisis?

May 9, 2018





There’s a wellbeing crisis in the teaching profession with our teachers reaching breaking point. Could the tech world provide the solution we’re looking for?


I’m sure you know some teachers. Maybe someone in your family teaches? Think about them for a minute. How do they speak about their job? It’s likely they’re telling you that in the last couple of years their job has become a lot harder. They’re probably working longer hours. They’re short-staffed at school. They’re doing new jobs around the school, but not getting the promotions they deserve. If they’re telling you this, they’re not alone.


The workload, culture and pressure of teaching in 2018 are contributing to a crisis. More teachers than ever before are experiencing mental health problems. It’s difficult to know what the solution is. You could throw money at the problem, but money is tight in every area of government. Could the answer to teachers’ problems come from innovation in the tech world?


Breaking point


A recent article in the Guardian spelt out this crisis in stark terms. It told stories of teachers breaking down in their classrooms. It showed how charities are helping deal with immediate problems. However, they’re at a loss to spell out a long-term solution.


The teachers’ wellbeing crisis in numbers


Here are some stats from the article:

  • 8,868 people have called the Education Support Partnership’s helpline in the past 12 months

  • It’s not just class teachers. Calls from Heads and Deputy Heads rose by 24% in the last year

  • 33% of education professionals say their job makes them feel stressed most or all of the time (UK workforce average: 18%)

  • 53% have considered leaving education in the last 2 years because of health issues


The consequences


That last stat really spells it out. Teachers are leaving the profession because of health pressures. As word spreads of how pressured and stressful the profession currently is, who is going to join?


Teaching is one of the most important professions. We trust teachers with the educational fate of our children. If there are none left, and those that are still there are worked to the bone, who will show our children the way?


The solutions


How can you solve this problem? It’s a tricky one.


The Educational Support Partnership suggest at a minimum, that all schools should have a staff wellbeing policy. They also suggest better training for teachers in areas they find stressful. They ask for policymakers to take account of the essential role played by teachers, and properly address their issues.


Of course, an ideal solution would be for schools to hire more staff and provide proper support to their employees. Unfortunately, it all comes down to money at the end of the day. Something more is needed.


Enter Opogo


The Thames Teacher Group has launched its new solution to making the lives of teachers simpler, easier, more manageable and more enjoyable: Opogo. Opogo’s understanding of the industry and its challenges, its advanced, personalised, technology and dedicated team members offer the highest quality support to transform the world of education for the better. Could this be the holy grail we seek?


Through advanced, constantly improving technology and empathetic, expert team members, we are helping educational professionals work smarter. Opogo knows how to help because we know what is needed. Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts.


By reducing daily admin, simplifying job opportunities, delivering world-class E-Learning, organising social meetups, rewarding engagement, cutting down on complexity, giving

greater transparency and better, faster control (i.e. via mobile), we are helping educators do more than work in the sector they love.


We are helping to keep them there.


A core offering of Opogo is the stand-out social experience. We will engage each of our user groups with relevant and bespoke content that users will want to engage with from classroom behaviour management, STEM advice to practical career development.

Our Opogo community comprises of expert speakers sharing their knowledge through rich content both online and in the app as well as running weekly CPD workshops in person.


As part of the Opogo community hub, we encourage participation and trust which is why we run regular social content including online webinars and videos, weekly Thursday socials in member specific areas as well as numerous rewards, discounts and perks through our give-back incentive to members.


A people business


At Opogo, everything we do comes from a good place, in line with our core values:


We’re Considerate. We are here to help. We are a people business so we speak in a natural, caring way. We are empathetic because we appreciate the challenges. The happiness of our members is everything to us so we put them, their needs, their concerns and their future first.


We’re Energetic. We make change happen and we keep moving forwards. We are reactive to what’s happening now and proactive to what’s going to happen.


We’re Passionate. We love what we do and you can hear this in our written voice, on the phone, on the website – everywhere. We want to help, we want to improve everything we touch. We are committed, energetic and driven. We work from the heart.


We’re Assured. We know our market, we know their needs and we know our technology. We are dealing with smart, engaged people who need a robust and expert service to help them – and we know we are the ones to deliver it.


We are a team, we support each other, we are inspired to achieve more not because we have to, but because we genuinely want to help. This is more than a culture. This is what we call our Culture of Care.


Waiting for you


Are you or someone you know at the end of your teaching tether? You do not have to suffer alone. Ensure that you reach out and get help immediately. Take some of the pressure off and contact the Educational Support Partnership for free on their helpline. 08000 562 561.


To find out more about Opogo visit our website or download the Opogo app on your mobile.

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