Calls to teachers’ helpline double
ALMOST 1,400 Scottish teachers have phoned a stress help phone during the past two years, it emerged yesterday.
The number of issues reported to Teacher Support Network via the phone service more than doubled between 2010 and 2011 from 675 to 1,389.
Lack of control in the classroom and job insecurity were among the most common reasons for the calls. Anxiety, sleeplessness and the breakdown of relationships also contributed to the concerns raised by teachers.
Julian Stanley, chief executive of Teacher Support Network, said: “Staff are under unprecedented professional and personal pressure. We know they are already faced with issues such as workload, a new curriculum and fear of redundancy, but they are also contending with the same issues we all must deal with such as concerns about money, health and relationships.
“The importance of this is that if a teacher is having a difficult time, it can affect hundreds of pupils and their futures.”
The charity is to launch a new range of services to try to ease the problems – including money management services, debt counselling and an online budgeting tool.
Larry Flanagan, the general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “The current budget-cutting agenda facing schools has only increased pressure on teachers, with sharp declines in both teacher and support staff numbers stretching teaching to the limit.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said councils had to “take appropriate action at local level to minimise the risk of stress or injury and any related claims through their own local health and safety procedures for staff and pupils”.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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