Urgent action needed to reduce stress faced by teachers

On National Stress Awareness Day the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union is calling on Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to take seriously the high levels of stress teachers face and commit to reducing workload which is affecting their mental health.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT said:

“Stress and professional burnout, driven by the policies of this Government, are having a massive impact on teachers’ and school leaders’ mental health and well-being, and contributing to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

“Ministers have created a culture across schools where any adverse impact on the health and wellbeing of teachers is simply regarded as collateral damage.

“High-quality education for all children and young people cannot continue to be sustained by teachers whose physical and mental health is being broken and who have been robbed of their professional dignity.

“NASUWT survey results show that 83% of teachers report they have experienced more workplace stress in the last twelve months and over three quarters of women teachers report that the job has affected their mental health and well-being.

“82% are suffering from lack of sleep and over three quarters from anxiety and some are even self-harming. Almost half of teachers in the last year have sought medical advice, over a third have taken medication, 5% have been hospitalised.

“The Secretary of State’s workload challenge launched before the election proved to be a pre-election gimmick with no serious attempt being made to address the issues.

“Action on workload and stress must be taken not just for the sake of teachers themselves but for the children and young people they teach.”