The Mental Health and Wellbeing of School Business Leaders 2023

As part of our ongoing commitment to the education sector, we’re proud to launch this report in partnership with Education Support to further support our School Business Leaders

School Business Leaders - We heard you!

School Business Leaders play an essential – but often unnoticed – role in the smooth running of schools. They interact with everyone in the school community and are often relied upon to find solutions to the tricky issues no-one else can tackle. It benefits everyone to ensure they are mentally and emotionally healthy enough to take on this demanding, but important, role.

We use the generic term SBLs throughout this report as we recognise that there are many different job titles for staff working in schools who fulfil senior school management. The roles of a School Business Leaders, School Business Managers, HR and admin staff are vital for the effective running of educational institutions.

Our key findings include

48 %

of staff said that an excessive workload affected their mental health and wellbeing at work

81 %

of staff receive mental health support from their school

12 %

of staff said there is a culture of no-one talking about their problems at work

39 %

of staff found that there is a lack of understanding (by colleagues) of their role

35 %

of staff said that working long, unpaid hours affects their mental health

Our Conclusions

Overall, SBLs felt that their schools did well at supporting its employees who experienced problems with their mental health and wellbeing

The range of responsibilities held by SBLs is also not well understood by other staff and feelings of isolation were found to be common

The most used mental health and wellbeing service by SBLs was attendance at wellbeing sessions. Usage of all support services by SBLs was low.

The factors which impact SBLs wellbeing at work were excessive workload and working hours, lack of understanding about their role, funding issues, problems with staffing, inequitable pay and feeling isolated in their role


The first of our annual mental health and wellbeing research explores the mental health and well-being of the working role of an SBL in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools across England and Wales.

You can download, print, and share the report here.

We hope that having access to services such as those available from Education Support and Education Mutual plays a role in the support of the mental health and well-being of your education staff.

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