At the recent NUT conference in Harrogate, several speakers covered the topic of teacher stress, citing a focus on targets and form filling is increasing workloads to in excess of 50 hours per week on average. This is increasing stress in teachers to a point where ill health is common, and is leaving some teachers suicidal.
The NUT has stated that the measures already put in place to reduce workload are not effective, and more needs to be done to reduce the amount of planning and assessment to allow teachers a decent work-life balance, and a chance to focus on teaching and learning.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers also recommended that the quality of stress related risk assessments needs to improve, although she also pointed out that this is unlikely to happen for a range of reasons.
How do we get senior managers and the government to take this information on board? What will it take before the need for change in these areas is acknowleged? More teacher suicides? More strikes? 100% of the workforce off sick?