From resolving family conflicts to cleaning dirty clothes, the "new reality" of teaching is one of increasing pastoral and social welfare duties – but unprepared teachers are feeling the strain...

“It’s time to decide whether schools are the front line of children’s services, or whether they are specialists in education.”

The nature of teaching is changing with teachers being forced to take on increasing pastoral duties to support the welfare of vulnerable pupils and their families.

A report from teacher wellbeing charity Education Support describes the expanding list of emotional wellbeing and pastoral responsibilities teachers now face after the impact of Covid-19 and the mental health crisis in schools.

Entitled Teaching: A new reality, the report includes survey responses from more than 4,000 teachers, support staff, and school leaders working in UK schools.

Pointing to the increasing numbers of children living in poverty, it warns that “more than ever before, children arrive at school with significant needs that require attention before learning can take place”.

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