Teaching is 'one of the most stressful jobs in Britain'

Teachers twice as likely to suffer work-related stress than average

Helen Ward

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Teaching is among the most stressful jobs you can do in Britain, according to new health and safety statistics.

The latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that in the teaching profession there were 2,460 cases of work-related stress per 100,000 workers.

This was twice the average rate across all industries of 1,230 cases per 100,000 workers in the three-year period averaged over 2014-15 to 2016-17.

“Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education, human health and social care work activities and public administration and defence,” the report states.

Professional occupations had a higher rate of work-related stress than other types of jobs, such as sales and customer service or administrative jobs.

Within professional jobs, welfare professionals had the highest rate of 4,420 cases of work-related stress per 100,000 people.

Leaving teaching

The HSE says that, in total, 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016-17, with 12.5 million working days lost.

It added that previous surveys had found the predominant cause of stress was workload – in particular, tight deadlines. Other causes were too much pressure or responsibility, a lack of managerial support, organisational changes, violence and role uncertainty.

“Work-related stress, depression or anxiety continues to represent a significant ill health condition in the workforce of Great Britain,” the report concludes.

A recent DfE report on teachers’ decisions to leave teaching found workload was the single most common reason – cited by 75 per cent of ex-teachers as the reason they quit the profession. Changes in policy were the second biggest cause.

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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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