A former investment banker has warned that teaching is similar to the world of finance because workers in both are “dying on the job”.
Rahul Mahajan, now a state school teacher in Barnet, north London, wants schools to give staff the same employee health checks provided by the investment bank he worked for.
Speaking at the NASUWT annual conference in Birmingham he highlighted two members of the union whose live "could have been saved had regular school or employer health checks been in place”.
“In many large businesses, including the kind of business I was in before, employers undergo regular health checks including mammograms and are told the results the same day,” said Mr Mahajan, who said he also used to work at Conservative Party central office but was now a Labour party activist.
“Why are teachers who work harder than many not afforded the same protective health care?”
He said the need for the tests was becoming greater as teachers’ retirement age increased.
“I would like to bring your attention to a similarity between the world of teaching and the world of investment banking,” he told conference. “People in both lines of work are literally dying on the job.”
But his call for all schools to carry out compulsory checks was rejected by delegates after fears were expressed that the checks would allow heads’ to gain confidential information about teachers’ health.
The conference did vote for a motion that warned that stress among teachers had reached “epidemic proportions” and called for industrial action to “improve teachers’ working conditions”.