Nearly 15% of the Welsh teaching workforce in Wales work in schools as ‘casual workers’ in precarious employment. What is the impact of precarious employment on the mental health of these supply teachers? And what further ‘knock on’ effects does precarious employment have on the school and its children?
I searched via my university’s academic library and easily found several articles that linked mental health problems with precarious employment. I have cut a few quotes from 9 studies and put the excerpts and article references in the PDF document below.
School children learn emotional self-regulation skills in the classroom in the presence of a healthy, emotionally self-regulated adult. If a member of staff is dysregulated and stressed-out through the demands of the role and the anxieties caused by precarious employment this makes the classroom an unhealthy place to be.
School children need consistent care from healthy teaching staff to create a secure base for learning. Low paid teaching staff employed on a casual basis in conditions of precarious employment do not themselves have a secure base… therefore they are not in a position to offer it to learners. It seems to be so obvious, but it is worth stating that we need joined up thinking from the Welsh Assembly. In the National Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee’s Mind over Matter report, it was argued a ‘step change’ was needed in the provision of emotional and mental health support for young people. An educational system in Wales that employs an increasing number of teaching staff in precarious employment undermines that vision for the future.