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Stress is a workplace issue

THEcase of Jan Howell, who was awarded a pound;250,000 payout after suffering two breakdowns, is an extreme example, but far from isolated (TES, December 8 and 15). Nevertheless, it is important to remember that there is an equally vital role to be played in providing timely support for the emotional impact of work stress.

Research conducted by the TUC suggests that stress is the main health and safety concern in four out of five schools and calls to Teacherline, the counselling service, corroborate the impact of stress on working teachers.

It is lso important to acknowledge that there is a requirement for responses at a structural level. TBF: the teacher support network, the national charity for teachers, acknowledges that stress in the workplace needs organisational solutions. Over the past two years, we have been working with Norfolk to deliver support at a school level. The expertise is now available to all schools and LEAs who want to start tackling the issue of stress in the workplace.

Patrick Nash Chief executive TBF: the teacher support network Hamilton House, London WC1

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