Rise in work-related stress levels ‘meteoric’

Stress is driving increasing numbers of teachers out of the classroom, with some even considering suicide, the conference heard yesterday.

NUT delegates were told there had been a “meteoric” rise in work-related stress because of Government initiatives.

Sue McMahon, from Calderdale said: “On more than one occasion I have had to support a member who has attempted suicide.

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“This meteoric rise in work-related stress is due to the demands being placed on our members to hit Government targets.”

Laura Fisher from Wakefield told delegates how two weeks into her first job as a teacher a colleague looked at her and said: “Go home and drink a bottle of wine and you’ll be fine. I said ‘I don’t drink’, and he said ‘give it six months’.

Resolutions were passed calling for the union to support victims of work stress and for the Health and Safety Executive to intervene in schools that do not comply and introduce stress risk assessments.