Trainee teachers' physical and mental wellbeing: a study of university and school experience provision.

Grant type: Themed funding: Student Well-being
Round: Student well-being
Amount awarded £10,000.00
Completed: September 2011
Leader(s): Miss Jan Huyton and Lalage Sanders
Organisation: University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
Contact Email:
Contact phone: 029 2041 6499
Dr Richard Eke
School of Education, University of the West of England
Lalage Sanders
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
Zoe Williamson
Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh
Start Date: 1 March 2010
End Date: 15 July 2011
Interim report received: 22 December 2010
Final report received: 26 September 2011

This study investigated the issue of trainee teachers’ physical and mental wellbeing in three universities: one English, one Welsh and one Scottish.  The centrality of wellbeing within the learning experience is now widely acknowledged as a pre-requisite for successful study, (Marshall & Morris 2011). The focus of this study was factors affecting wellbeing and the availability of support. 

A document analysis showed considerable variation between the type and accessibility of the information provided; the lack of adequate signposting of resources was a problem. Even when students were appropriately directed to other resources, these were often deficient in detailed information.  Key principles for information presentation are provided in the recommendations.

Data from students and staff identified two key problems for the provision of student support.  The availability of services is often restricted to office hours making them inaccessible for trainee teachers given their heavy workload.  Students may experience a reluctance to seek help for fear of how this may reflect on their ability to cope with the demands of the course and/or the profession.  It was evident that a key form of support for many was found amongst their peers.  It is recommended that this is a useful consideration when developing wellbeing strategies.