The charity Education Support has published its annual guide to teacher wellbeing conducted in partnership with YouGov.

It reveals that work-related stress in the teaching profession has increased for the third consecutive year with sharp rises in the numbers of staff reporting tearfulness, difficulty sleeping and irritability.

The research is based on responses from teachers, heads and those in non teaching roles. Key findings are:

  • 72% of all educational professionals describe themselves as stressed
  • 33% of teachers and 68% of senior leaders worked more than 51 hours on average each week
  • 74% considered the inability to switch off and relax to be a major contributing factor to a negative work/life balance
  • 34% have experienced a mental health issue in the past academic year
  • 57% have considered leaving over the past two years due to pressures on their health and wellbeing and 71% cite heavy workloads as the main reason for this this
  • 49% believed their organisation had a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing and 49% felt compelled to come to work even when they were unwell

Good teaching needs the highest levels of physical, social and emotional energy and this report reveals worrying trends.

The charity recommends introducing healthy working practices and making sure schools and colleges are properly funded. It also wants all senior leaders to have access to personal and peer support.