Wellbeing promotion in Tasmanian schools: Have we forgotten support teachers?

Kristy Lee Holzner, Lorraine Gaunt

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Support teachers are responsible for educating students with disabilities who have complex needs and require additional resources. Because of the highly stressful nature of the role, support teachers are at greater risk of professional burnout, higher attrition rates, and impacts on wellbeing. There is a distinct lack of Australian or state/territory empirical evidence on strategies to promote support teacher wellbeing. In this exploratory qualitative study, we applied thematic analysis to interviews of Tasmanian support teachers to find that their wellbeing relies on principals’ and leadership staff’s support and implementation of wellbeing and inclusive education practices. Support teachers are experiencing stress, anxiety, emotional exhaustion, and depression caused by workload, accountability for funding, and poor leadership. School leaders who value wellbeing and inclusive practices foster a positive culture, demonstrating ecological theory. This study marks an initial step towards understanding how to nurture the support teachers of Tasmania.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-109
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Journal of Special Education
Issue number2
Early online date29 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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