England's teachers 'most stressed' in developed world

70% of lower secondary teachers report being stressed either “a lot” or “quite a bit”, says OECD report

teacher stress

Lower secondary teachers in England are the most stressed among all their counterparts in the developed world.

An international OECD study published today shows that 38 per cent reported being stressed “a lot” compared to 35 per cent in Portugal (second highest), 11 per cent in France, and 1 per cent in Georgia (lowest).

It also reveals that stress is a problem for a shocking 98 per cent of lower secondary teachers, with 32 per cent said they were stressed “quite a lot” while 28 per cent said they were stressed “to some extent”.


Research: Third of teachers have mental health problems

How do you cope?: Stressed headteachers turning to alcohol

Quick Read: Teacher mental health worsening in 'toxic schools'


The finding comes from the latest Talis (Teaching and Learning International Survey), a study of teachers' working conditions in nearly 50 countries produced every five years.

The report, which mainly focuses on lower secondary teachers, states: “More than 30 per cent of teachers report experiencing stress a lot in England, Hungary and Portugal. By contrast, less than 5 per cent of teachers report experiencing stress a lot in their work in Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Viet Nam.

"However the share of teachers [in England] experiencing stress a lot is lower in primary education than in lower secondary education (a difference of 7 percentage points).”  

The report finds that 77 per cent of teachers in England are “all in all” satisfied with their job, however, this is the lowest rate in the OECD, with all the other countries having rates of above 80 per cent. Japan (next lowest) has 82 per cent and Italy, Columbia and Argentina (Caba region) on joint-top at 96 per cent.

And the report finds that England is one of six countries in which more than half of lower secondary teachers said they “wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession.”

In England, this was 52 per cent compared with Lithuania (59 per cent), Malta (58 per cent), Saudi Arabia (52 per cent), Iceland (51 per cent) and South Africa (51 per cent).

Teachers in lower secondary in England also show the second-biggest drop in satisfaction with the profession from 2013 to 2018 after the Flemish community in Belgium.

The report focuses on lower secondary teachers and school principals in 48 countries and economies, as well as in 2 sub-national entities (the Flemish Community of Belgium and the French Community of Belgium). It also features results on primary teachers and school principals in 15 countries and economies, and on upper secondary teachers and school principals in 11 countries and economies.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Latest stories

video interview

WATCH: Tes Career Clinic two-minute tutorials

Are you looking for your dream teaching job? Then you need to watch our two-minute tutorial series. Grainne Hallahan shares her job hunting tips in the latest Tes Career Clinic series
Grainne Hallahan 7 Apr 2020