Finding a way through the fog: School staff experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic


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This exploratory study reports on interviews carried out with nineteen staff in UK schools during the early phase of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The focus of this qualitative study was to consider the impact of the pandemic on participants' mental health and wellbeing, and to identify buffering mechanisms which may have mitigated against adverse effects. Participants were employed in a range of role types (including leaders, teachers and teaching assistants) in different educational settings (primary, secondary and alternative provision), and in different regions of the United Kingdom. A process of thematic analysis identified five key themes from the data set: change and adaptation; loss; impact on wellbeing; risk and protective factors; and opportunities to reflect. Our data indicates that staff resilience during this time can be understood as emerging from a nuanced and complex interaction of internal and external factors, and thus conceptualised within a socio-ecological framework.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Early online date24 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2022


  • education
  • mental health
  • wellbeing
  • resilience
  • Covid -19


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