Headteachers’ anxiety levels spiked after ministers announced school closures and re-openings but teachers’ wellbeing stayed “largely the same” during lockdown, new research reported by Schools Week suggests.

An analysis found that 38 per cent of heads reported “very high” work-related anxiety in the week before schools were closed in March.

And some 40 per cent said they experienced similar feelings when phased re-openings from June were announced.

Between October half term and mid-March, headteachers’ very high work-related anxiety stood at just 13 and 17 per cent.

State school teachers also experienced a peak in very high anxiety before the lockdown, but reported generally lower levels once lockdown had started than before.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the school leadership union ASCL, said he was concerned that school leaders are clearly under “huge strain” and had “hardly drawn breath since March”.

Schools Week revealed in early June that school leaders had been issued with 100 updates to government guidance in the first few months of the coronavirus crisis – a quarter of them published during antisocial hours.

The latest research was by UCL based on data collected by Teacher Tapp and paid-for by the Nuffield Foundation.