Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on New Approaches in Education
The Influence of Policy on Emotional Labour and Burnout among Further and Adult Education Teachers in the U.K
The Society for Education and Training (SET) regards maintaining wellbeing for teachers as important as it ensures the retention of staff and the progress of learners. From a survey conducted with teachers, SET (2019) reported various factors contributing to lack of wellbeing of teachers in further education (FE) and adult education. Focus group interviews asked teachers in an FE college about equal opportunity, management, working conditions, staffing levels and career prospects and how they use emotions. For some, there is insufficient working space and time for breaks between lessons. They will take work home to complete, learners can be affected when staff are ill and supply staff are not employed due to funding so covering for existing staff imposes demands on them. Management policies lack practical application and promotion opportunities are restricted for some. This paper examines the extent to which existing policies shape the practice of teachers and whether this impacts on their wellbeing in terms of emotional labour and symptoms of burnout. Interviews reveal that teaching staff may suffer from panic attacks and anxiety and feel unsupported by heads of departments. However, they will maintain a professional exterior when interacting with learners. The impact of policy on work life-balance (WL-B) is discussed. Some teachers do not have sufficient time to spend with families and presumably interests and hobbies while more experienced teachers can separate family life from working life and so maintain a balance. The paper examines the adequacy of existing standards for staff seeking to maintain wellbeing.
Keywords: FE/adult Ed. teachers; policy; wellbeing.