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Welsh teachers' mental health at risk

02 July 2019

THREE QUARTERS of teachers in Wales claim their job has damaged their mental health in the last year, a survey by the NASUWT-The Teachers' Union has revealed.

Eighty per cent of teachers say they have experienced more workplace stress in the last year and 82% have suffered from anxiety due to their work.

As a result of these pressures, 12% of teachers have used antidepressants to help them cope in the last year and 13% have undergone counselling.

When asked to rank their top five concerns about work, the teachers’ most common responses were:

  • Workload  (86%)

  • Pupil behaviour/indiscipline  (68%)

  • School budget cuts  (51%)

  • Curriculum reform/changes  (41%)

  • Pay (41%) 

In Wales, 66% of teachers say their job satisfaction has declined in the last year and 78% have seriously considered leaving their current job.

General secretary of the NASUWT Chris Keates said, “Quite frankly the statistics are appalling. So many dedicated and talented teachers are suffering from mental health problems as a direct result of their work and yet no action is being taken by Government or Employers to address this.

Excessive workloads, pupil indiscipline and school budget cuts are clearly taking their toll.

If the Government and Employers fail to act to address these issues then the NASUWT will do so as we are already doing in schools across the country.

NASUWT National Official Wales Neil Butler said, “NASUWT Cymru has been getting increased casework from members suffering from mental health conditions that directly relate to their employment as teachers.

We need the Government, the Employers and the inspectorate to get serious about teacher wellbeing and mental health, before they are faced with the tsunami of workload that is coming their way with the new curriculum and new Additional Learning Needs Code.”