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April 8, 2009

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Teachers’ union demands action to curb staff bullying

A third of education staff in the UK have been bullied by a colleague, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

The survey, which was completed by more than 1000 teachers in primary, secondary and other schools, found that nearly 80 per cent of those who were bullied have suffered stress and anxiety as a result. In addition, 27 per cent of the victims claimed they had subsequently visited a doctor.

In most cases the bullying involved insults or derogatory comments, while 34 per cent of the incidents involved intimidation such as threats, shouting, or being sworn at. But fewer than half of the cases were officially reported, and two thirds of those polled were unhappy at the way their school had handled their complaint.

Pam Jones, a secondary school teacher in Hampshire, feels that Ofsted, the education watchdog, is not doing enough to address the issue of staff-on-staff bullying. She said: “Bullying of staff continues to be hidden behind the doors of what Ofsted calls excellent schools. We spend millions on preventing bullying of students; it’s time some money was spent on tackling staff bullying in schools.”

ATL general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, added: “Staff-on-staff bullying is an intolerable problem that needs to be tackled and eliminated. Education staff have the right to work in a professional environment that helps foster and develop their careers, rather than deal with playground bullying tactics by other members of staff.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

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