Stress 'forcing teachers from job'
Stress is driving increasing numbers of teachers out of the classroom, with some even considering suicide, a union conference has heard.
Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference in Harrogate heard that there had been a "meteoric" rise in work-related stress because of Government initiatives.
Sue McMahon from Calderdale said: "As a divisional secretary I have seen a meteoric rise in work-related stress and on more than one occasion have had to support a member who has attempted suicide.
"This meteoric rise in work-related stress is due to the demands being placed on our members to hit Government targets."
She said a "target tsunami" escalating from the Government's aims is "sweeping away those [teachers] that you are struggling to support".
John Illingworth from Nottingham told delegates the number of stress-related suicides among teachers is "low but significant".
"But stress-related illness is widespread, affecting thousands of teachers each year. It is more likely to end a teacher's career than any other cause," he said.
He called for more action to stop work-related stress in schools.
The union passed two resolutions, on tackling teacher stress and teacher workload.
The motions called for the union to support victims of work stress and for the Health and Safety Executive to intervene in schools that do not comply and introduce stress risk assessments.