Stressed out

12th April 1996 at 01:00
As a teacher of 10 years' experience, I object to Hilary Wilce's assertion that teachers complaining of stress are indulging in needless self-pity (TES, March 29). She fails to take into account the broad effects of this stress and the damage it may be doing to our children.

The two main causes of stress at work are work-overload and an individual's lack of control over what he or she does. Teachers suffer from both of these because of financial cuts and government legislation. It is difficult to do the job well if you have to "deliver" the national curriculum to a class of more than 30 children. The related stress of this further compounds the problem.

Ms Wilce says we should look elsewhere if we can't cope. She fails to realise that many teachers have quit because the stress is intolerable.

We should continue to draw attention to the stress because by reducing it we would improve the quality of our education service. If we do as Ms Wilce suggests and grin and bear it, we will be doing a disservice to schoolchildren.

HAMISH WILSON 4 Ickleford Road Hitchin, Herts

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