The Secret of Happy Functional Schools

Teacher wellbeing critical for teachers themselves, students and school systems.
Apr 23, 2024
The happiness of teachers flows through a school's culture.

Teacher burnout is an international issue and as it turns out, putting teacher wellbeing at the centre of any educational institution is a good place to start if teachers are to remain in the profession and if schools are to function optimally.

Teacher-related factors are some of the most essential elements impacting learning in schools and teacher wellbeing has a significant impact on the wellbeing and academic success of students. That means teacher wellbeing should be one of the first factors schools consider when looking to improve wellbeing across the school community.

One of the key factors that positively impact teacher wellbeing is teacher voice, which is crucial in designing any intervention to support wellbeing in a particular school context.

Higher levels of teacher wellbeing are associated with positive relationships among colleagues, students, parents, and leadership; a positive school climate; and effective leadership support.

Workplace recognition and continuing professional development are also positively associated with teacher wellbeing.

These findings flow from one of the most comprehensive reviews of existing research, which allowed researchers to develop an evidence-based framework that indicates the drivers of teacher wellbeing. This framework serves as a discussion point for schools to identify drivers that will be most relevant to their school context.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) commissioned the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University to produce this report on the latest research on teacher wellbeing. The report - Wellbeing for Schoolteachers - provides the IB, policymakers and educational leaders an understanding of teacher wellbeing, what influences teacher wellbeing, and what evidence-based interventions might be used to improve teacher wellbeing.

Dr Laura Taylor, Deputy Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford and Lead Researcher for the project, notes, "As we navigate the crucial intersection of education and wellbeing, the research evidence highlights the profound importance of prioritising teacher wellbeing. By investing in the health and happiness of educators, we not only empower them to thrive but also lay the foundation for a positive ripple effect on students, schools, and the broader education system."

Wellbeing for Schoolteachers is a companion report to another study by the Wellbeing Research Centre on student wellbeing: Wellbeing in education in childhood and adolescence.

The Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford is an interdisciplinary research centre based at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, concerned with the study of wellbeing as a driver for public policy, interventions, and for improving the lives of future generations. From 2024, the Wellbeing Research Centre is the publisher of the annual World Happiness Report, the world’s foremost publication on global happiness.

For more information, contact the IB at [email protected] or the Wellbeing Research Centre at [email protected] or visit