Stressed teachers turning to drink and drugs

High
levels of stress are driving teachers to drink and drugs in record numbers.

Investigations
by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show there is extensive binge drinking
and use of anti-depressants among teachers to deal with the pressures of the
job.

The
HSE has launched a national inquiry into stress among teachers, after findings
showed that half of all those in the profession are anxious or depressed over
their workloads and job insecurity.

The
inquiry will lead to guidelines for headmasters to diagnose stressed members of
staff later this year.

Patrick
Nash, chief executive of the Teacher Support network (TSN), believes that up to
half of England and Wales’ 420,000 teachers are so stressed they run the risk
of nervous breakdown.

The
Teacher Training Agency (TTA) has estimated the industry needs 35,000 recruits
a year to replace those who leave the profession early or retire.

Critics
say that insufficient funding has led to the loss of hundreds of teaching jobs
in the last school year.

www.teachersupport.info

By Michael Millar

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