Educator Health and Wellbeing Program

The challenge

Recent events have highlighted the complex roles performed by teachers, leaders and other professionals working in the education sector. Alongside their regular teaching and learning responsibilities, educators are increasingly expected to perform a number of additional duties, including safeguarding student physical and emotional wellbeing, adopting and integrating new technologies and developing practices that provide students with the skills to navigate complex and uncertain futures. For many education professionals, increases in job complexity have come alongside limited additional support and ongoing administrative burden. This has raised concerns about the occupational health and wellbeing of the education workforce.

The question of how to promote the development of safe, healthy work environments for educators and their communities is of particular interest to REDI’s Educator Health and Wellbeing (EHW) research group. The EHW team investigates the relationship between educators’ work environments, roles and responsibilities and occupational health, safety and wellbeing.

This research provides insights into the impact that job roles and working conditions have on educators’ mental and physical health and wellbeing at work. Our aim is to provide researchers, policymakers and educational leaders with evidence that can be used to promote healthy work environments and a strong sustainable education workforce.

Project overview

Within REDI, the Educator Health and Wellbeing research group (EHWB) conducts longitudinal research to investigate educators’ workplaces and their work-related health, safety and wellbeing over time. In doing so, the group aim to identify patterns of change in educators work and to investigate the complex relationships between policy, work and wellbeing among education professionals. Our research studies involve early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education sector employees.

Research areas

  • Health and wellbeing at work — educators’ self-reported health, safety and wellbeing at work.
  • Workload

Work roles and responsibilities

  • Work demands and resources — the demands that educators face at work and the resources they have available to them.
  • Relationships and sources of support — workplace relationships and the development of supportive work cultures.
  • Occupational violence and aggression — the prevalence, causes and consequences of occupational violence and aggression as well as prevention and management policies/practices.
  • Educator retention and attrition — the factors determining teacher retention.
  • The health and wellbeing experiences of different groups of educators.

Research methods

  • Longitudinal survey research
  • Cross sectional survey research
  • Mixed methods studies
  • Qualitative research

Current studies

  • Australia
  • The Australian Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey
  • The Australian University Health and Wellbeing Survey

New Zealand

  • The New Zealand Early Childhood Educator Health and Wellbeing Survey
  • The New Zealand Primary Teacher Health and Wellbeing Survey
  • The New Zealand Primary Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey
  • The New Zealand Secondary Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey

Ireland

  • The Irish Principals Health and Wellbeing Survey

Hong Kong

  • The Hong Kong School Principals Health and Wellbeing Survey

Finland

  • The Finland School Principals Health and Wellbeing Survey

Outcomes

  • Evidence about the working conditions, work roles and health and wellbeing of education professionals.
  • Personalised feedback to education professionals about their work and wellbeing
  • Evidence about the impact of policies on the education workforce
  • Evidence about the efficacy of interventions to promote occupational health safety and wellbeing
  • Policy guidance about the systems, working conditions, practices and interventions that can help to support healthy professionals.

Project team

Research partners 

  • New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa Inc.
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
  • Department of Education – Queensland
  • Department of Education – Northern Territory

More information

Educator Health and Wellbeing website

Keywords

psychosocial, work environment, working conditions, occupational health and wellbeing, education workforce, education policy