Teachers are experiencing a greater level of job stress than many other professionals, a study reveals.
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), says that most professions have 13% of workers feeling tense about their job.
However, for teachers the level is 20%.
With growing numbers of teachers deserting the classroom and rising pupil numbers, the study found that teachers are feeling tense about their job most of the time.
The study also found that teachers struggle with higher stress levels and a poorer work-life balance and their working hours are similar to workers in other professions across the year.
The National Education Union’s joint general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, said: “Faced with endless accountability, impossible workloads with underfunded or flat pay deals year after year, it’s common for teachers to leave.”
Shortfall in training teacher numbers
Now the NFER is calling for action for the shortfall in trainee teacher numbers to be addressed amid a big drop in early career teacher retention rates.
One of the report’s authors, Jack Worth, said: “Schools in England are facing challenges in retaining and recruiting enough teachers and there is a need to improve working conditions and a focus on making a teaching career more sustainable and manageable.”
The report follows that from the Department for Education’s study published in January on teacher recruitment and retention strategy which included ideas to simplify the teacher application process and reducing workload.
Damian Hinds, the education secretary, said: “Since taking this job, I’ve made reducing the bureaucratic and unnecessary workload that teachers face a priority and to deal with the issues highlighted in the report and also free up teachers to teach.”
The study also highlights that teachers who have trained overseas and former teachers are shunning efforts to recruit them into British schools.
The report also reveals that many schools are receiving no, or little, response to job adverts they place and are relying on teachers who are not qualified to teach in their subject.
Teachers work more hours in a typical week
Researchers also found that teachers work more hours in a typical week, though they do not work more when this is averaged out over the year, it does lead to more stress and poor work-life balance.
The researchers also highlight that recruitment is in steep decline from the European Economic Area, potentially because of Brexit fears, and the traditional recession-proof advantage of becoming a teacher has eroded because the graduate labour market is currently strong.
The NFER has welcomed government proposals for boosting teacher recruitment but says that unless there is further action the problem will continue.