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Lonely hearts pine for a Valentine

The stress of teaching is leaving a legacy of loneliness and broken relationships. With Valentine's Day approaching, a poll of 146 teachers by the Teachers Support Network found that seven out of 10 say their work does not leave them with any time for a love life.

One male teacher said the effort of communicating with pupils all day meant he was too tired to speak to his partner, while a female teacher said 10-hour days with a further two hours of marking left her with no energy for sex.

One in 10 women teachers and 15 per cent of men say their job has scared off potential partners.

Dawn, a secondary teacher who runs a matchmaking list on The TES online staffroom, said: "It's getting the opportunities to go out. You can't get away with turning up to school hung over, while you might get away with it in some office jobs."

Teachers are increasingly looking for love and understanding among the biscuit crumbs and coffee cups of their own staffrooms. About 90 per cent of teachers said they would date a colleague.

Patrick Nash, chief executive of Teachers Support Network, said that teachers have to juggle the demands of a busy job with family life. "This puts their personal lives under considerable strain and has led to the breakdown of marriages," Mr Nash said.

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