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Infectious stress

It may be a revelation to Libby Purves that there is a link between the well-being of teachers and better pupil behaviour but not to anyone who has worked in a school ("It must pay to keep us happy", TES, March 17).

Research on organisations consistently demonstrates that psychological health or ill-health is transmitted between workers. This applies especially in schools where children and young people are consciously and unconsciously picking up messages from adults about self-worth, stress and happiness.

As Libby highlight school staff have historically been "dumped on" by politicians for supposedly failing pupils.

At the same time schools have been expected to work miracles daily, irrespective of the professional and personal pressures we all live with.

Little surprise the consequences can be seen in the behaviour of some pupils.

Phil Goss Psychotherapist and former headteacher 22 Ruskin Drive, Kirkby Lonsdale Carnforth, Lancs.

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