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4 in 5 teachers bullied last year

05 June 2019

WORKPLACE BULLYING is ruining the lives of teachers, with many left feeling depressed, anxious, lacking confidence and turning to the medical profession, drugs and alcohol to help them cope.

The survey of nearly 2,000 teachers by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union found that 80% of teachers said they had suffered bullying in the last year, with the majority of incidents perpetrated by headteachers, senior leaders and line managers.

Bullying is having a serious impact on the mental health of teachers, with 80% saying they had suffered anxiety as a result of bullying they had experienced.

Nearly half of teachers (45%) said they had visited their GP, while teachers also said they were turning to prescribed drugs (18%) and alcohol (17%) to help them cope.

Half of teachers (52%) have experienced depression because of bullying, with 41% saying it has affected their ability to deliver high-quality lessons.

The majority of the bullying (70%) was carried out by headteachers or senior leaders, with 38% reporting their line manager was bullying them. Bullying was also carried out on a lesser scale by other teachers (22%), support staff (8%) and governors (4%).

The forms of bullying being experienced cover  a wide range from shouting and verbal abuse to teachers being threatened with capability and having their work criticised in front of others.

Being undermined or belittled was experienced by 84% of those who responded while half (51%) said they had been ignored or ostracised. Nearly half (44%) had their work criticised in front of others, four in ten (42%) were threatened with capability and more than a quarter (28%) said they had rumours spread about them.

More than half (52%) of teachers said the bullying situation in their workplace had got worse in the last year.
General secretary of the NASUWT Chris Keates said, “Evidence of bullying is alarmingly prevalent in schools and colleges.

“While there are many schools that treat their staff with courtesy and respect, teachers tell us that in too many a culture of bullying and abuse of teachers is far too common.

“Bullying is destroying many teachers’ physical and mental health, and driving some teachers from their schools or the profession entirely.

“The abuse, bullying, ostracising and undermining of teachers has to stop. The NASUWT will continue to challenge, using every means necessary, any employer not treating teachers with dignity and respect.”