Unheard plight of the hoarse whisperers

19th November 2010 at 00:00

In response to news reports that a teacher has won #163;150,000 for straining her voice, when will educational managers realise that voice problems in teaching are neither acceptable nor inevitable?

Joyce Walters, the English teacher involved in the case, may have won a superficially generous compensation but unfortunately is now unable to work.

Having previously been diagnosed with vocal chord nodules myself - with support from my school, I lived to teach another day - I am convinced that the damage being done to teachers' voices is unnecessary.

Unfortunately a culture exists within the teaching profession where sore throats, hoarseness, laryngitis and other voice-related problems are regarded as acceptable occupational hazards. These things, if chronic, are not acceptable and in fact are often avoidable.

The case highlights the ignorance that still surrounds voice abuse in teaching - a profession in which we are required to deliver potentially four to five presentations every day, to audiences who haven't volunteered or paid to be there.

Fergus Elder, Teacher, Greater Manchester.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now