Figures obtained by Freedom of Information requests and compiled by the Liberal Democrats showed that 3,750 teachers were signed off on long-term sick leave last year. Reasons included pressure of work, anxiety and mental illness. This is an increase of 5% on the previous year, according to The Guardian.
Dr Mary Bousted, joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, warned of an “epidemic of stress”. Unpaid overtime, with constant changes to the curriculum and assessment, she explains, “has left teachers rocking from stress and exhaustion.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We continue to work with teachers, unions and Ofsted to tackle unnecessary workload and challenge unhelpful practices that create extra work, which includes a programme of targeted support for schools.”
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