Job-related stress higher for teachers than other workers, survey finds
One in five teachers feel tense about their job most, or all of the time, according to a new study.
According to the National Foundation for Educational Research’s annual teacher market report, teachers suffer from a poorer work-life balance and higher stress levels than many other workers.
The report found 20% of teachers feel tense about their job most or all of the time, compared to 13% of those working in similar sectors.
Two out of five (41%) teachers said they were not happy with their amount of leisure time, compared to 32% of other professionals.
A YouGov survey published in October for the charity Education Support Partnership (ESP) revealed 31% of all teachers have experienced mental health issues in the past 12 months, while a similar figure (36%) said they have no form at mental health support at work.
It also found nearly two thirds (65%) of teachers do not feel comfortable talking about mental health problems or unmanageable stress to their boss and 74% said they do not have enough guidance about mental health at work.
“England’s schools are facing significant challenges in recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of teachers,” said report co-author, Jack Worth.
“Nurturing, supporting and valuing teachers is vital to making teaching an attractive and rewarding career choice. In order to do this, there is a clear need to improve the working conditions of teachers, with a focus on making the teaching career more manageable and sustainable.”
The Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, Dr Mary Bousted, said the report echoes its own “long-standing concerns” about the anxieties faced by teachers.
“Teachers typically work well in excess of 50 hours per week, as demonstrated by survey upon survey,” said Dr Bousted.
“The reasons that so many leave the profession so quickly are not a mystery to us. When faced with impossible workloads, endless accountability, a testing culture run riot, and flat or underfunded pay deals year after year, it is all too common for good teachers to leave the profession.”
The NFER Teacher Labour Market Annual report is available to read here.