Rapid evidence review on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce
A rapid evidence review by Gaby Atfield, Beate Baldauf and Erika Kispeter examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education, childcare and social work and related social care workforce. The review also examines how negative effects can be mitigated. The Department for Education funded this work following a recommendation from SAGE.
The review found that there was significant evidence of direct and indirect impacts on mental health and wellbeing of teachers, childcarers and social workers. These were exacerbated by fears about physical safety, increased workloads and concerns about being able to provide adequate support, particularly for the most vulnerable children. Financial stress and fears about job loss were also seen amongst nursery and other child care workers.
Mitigations to improve mental health and wellbeing included both organisational interventions and individual coping strategies, while provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and clear and consistent guidance for its use was also important.
The review identified a lack of evidence on the wider implications of declines in mental health and wellbeing and few studies that took a whole system approach that treats workers as part of a holistic system also including children and parents and carers. It identified a need for studies that track the longer-term impact of the pandemic on workers and greater learning from previous pandemics and other crises that have impacted on children's education.
Read the review on the IER project webpage.