Harassed teachers turn to support service

Conflicts with colleagues, bullying by managers and work pressures are
driving thousands of teachers to call a telephone and web-based support line.

While pupil misbehaviour was a key stressor among teachers, relationships
between staff were as pressing an issue, the Teacher Support Network (TSN)
found.

The support service has helped 76,000 teachers in England and Wales over the
past four years. Four-fifths of all the enquiries came from women, and last
year, 30,000 teachers sought help either by phone or online.

The main reason for contacting the service was conflict (10.2 per cent) –
conflicts with managers accounted for two-thirds of cases, and a quarter with
colleagues. Workload or hours worked accounted for 4.8 per cent, pupil
behaviour for 4.3 per cent, and long-term sick leave accounted for 4.2 per
cent.

The largest single group of callers to the service were newly-qualified
teachers, who accounted for a fifth of all enquiries, with stress, anxiety and
depression accounting for the highest number of calls.

More than 2,200 calls were from teachers on sick leave, who often felt they
had failed or were letting people down.

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