'Train teachers' to handle stress;Union Conference;NASUWT;National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

17th April 1998 at 01:00
All student teachers should be trained in stress management to help them cope with overwork and "intimidating" inspections, the NASUWT will tell the Teacher Training Agency.

The union is to campaign for legislation to protect employees from work-induced stress, with tougher action against employers who give teachers insufficient protection.

Research commissioned by NASUWT suggests one in five teachers suffer from anxiety and depression at a level usually seen in psychiatric out-patients. The number of teachers retiring through ill-health has risen from about 2,000 in 1989 to 5-6,000 last year.

Delegates presented a litany of cases of the consequences of stress caused by workload, bullying bosses and unruly and violent pupils. One said his friend had killed himself on the first day of term. Others spoke of callous disregard from heads and senior staff.

London delegate Steve Luscombe said he had been appalled by the lack of support for his members who had been assaulted. One - so badly hurt she was off for five weeks and developed epilepsy - was sent to hospital in a cab and the managers never asked how she was.

The union argues that bad parenting is part of the problem. General secretary Nigel de Gruchy attacked calls for shorter school holidays as an abdication of parental responsibility.

"If people don't want to spend at least part of their time bringing up their own children, they shouldn't have them," he said. "A disastrous lack of parenting is playing havoc with the behaviour of thousands of youngsters."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today