Teachers suffer more stress than other professionals, study finds

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Teachers work longer weekly hours and suffer greater job-related stress than other professionals, a report has found.

One in five teachers (20%) feel tense about their job most or all of the time, compared with 13% of similar professionals, according to the study by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

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It also found that a high workload meant that working hours during a typical week were higher for teachers than people in similar occupations, while two in five teachers (41%) were dissatisfied with their amount of leisure time, compared with 32% of other professionals.

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With pupil numbers rising and an increasing number of teachers leaving the profession, experts have warned urgent action is needed to ensure there are sufficient numbers of high-quality teachers employed in schools over the next decade.

Working conditions are a “fundamental lever” in teacher recruitment and retention, the report says, with efforts needed to reduce teachers’ “unnecessary workload”.

The analysis also found that alternative means of teacher supply, such as employing overseas-trained teachers, had not increased, with recruitment from countries in the European Economic Area in particular decline, possibly as a result of Brexit.

NFER chief executive Carole Willis said: “It is clear we need to encourage more teachers to stay, and offer those who have left teaching the prospect of an exciting, rewarding and manageable career that they want to return to.

“This will, in turn, undoubtedly make it a profession that new recruits want to be a part of too.”