A free text messaging service is being launched to support the wellbeing of teachers during the coronavirus crisis.
The TeachTogether service will send weekly text messages to teachers including supportive quotes from other professionals, advice and links to useful activities during school closures and beyond.
It is being launched by The Chartered College of Teaching and the Behavioural Insights Team following a pilot of a similar service in the United States and Canada for teachers and emergency service call handlers.
Those involved in the pilot said the scheme reduced burnout and halved resignations. All messages are based in teacher interviews and the latest wellbeing evidence.
Anna Bird, head of education and skills at the Behavioural Insights Team, said: “Teachers are at the front line of the Covid-19 response, but helping children succeed in spite of school closures and providing care for key workers’ children is a huge extra burden. We hope this evidence-based service will help teachers stay connected and get the support they need during these challenging times.”
Professor Dame Alison Peacock, chief executive of The Charters College of Teaching, said with constantly changing requirements and expectations, “it is more important than ever that our teachers have continued access to education support networks”.
The project has been funded by the Helen Hamlyn Trust and Ian Armitage.
It comes after a number of schools already started their own initiatives to help staff.
For example, Consilium Academies have a nominated member of staff which other staff who live on their own can call if they are struggling.
And at Co-op Academy Southfield, a special school in Bradford, staff are being encouraged to use the employee assistance programme the trust subscribes to, which offers coaching and counselling.
To join the messaging service, teachers will need a UK mobile number or email. To sign up visit chartered.college/teachtogether