University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

‘Occasionally there are moments of light’: the challenges of primary school teaching in England, and the factors that motivate teachers to stay in the profession

Solvason, Carla ORCID:, Allies, Suzanne, Hodgkins, Angela ORCID:, Weston, Rebecca and Malomo, Michelle ORCID: (2023) ‘Occasionally there are moments of light’: the challenges of primary school teaching in England, and the factors that motivate teachers to stay in the profession. Education 3-13 International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education. ISSN 0300-4279 Online: 1475-7575

Occasionally there are moments of light the challenges of primary school teaching in England and the factors that motivate teachers to stay in the.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview


This research, exploring the health and well-being of education professionals, was carried out at the behest of a Multi-Academy Trust of five primary schools. The intention was to assess the needs of educators, before designing a programme to support them. Data were collected through anonymous online survey from 244 staff in primary
schools in England. Similar to previous literature, respondents reported feeling stressed and overwhelmed with their workload; as well as feeling undervalued, lacking autonomy and experiencing low morale. Our data suggest that these factors damaged educators’ health and well-being and, for some, impacted negatively upon their home lives. The general negativity of responses was tempered by mentions of the more intrinsically rewarding aspects of the role. This research highlights significant changes that are needed to education funding and policy, whilst suggesting approaches that schools can take, in the meantime, to protect the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Teaching, Workload, Burnout, Motivation, Primary (elementary) teaching, Stress
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Carla Solvason
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2023 09:40
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2023 09:40

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Worcester Research and Publications is powered by EPrints 3 which is developed by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. More information and software credits.