Teacher Stress

Statistics on Teacher Stress

HSE research in 2000 found teaching to be the most stressful profession in the UK, with 41.5% of teachers reporting themselves as ‘highly stressed’ .   For comparison, the incidence of any kind of stress across the working population is believed to be less than 20 per cent.

From 2003 to 2006   statistics show that the highest reported rates of occupational stress, depression or anxiety were to be found in the teaching and research professions - indeed the levels of stress amongst teachers were twice that for ‘all occupations’ .

These findings have been further borne out by a survey on occupational stress published in the Journal of Managerial Psychology in 2005, which ranked teaching as the second most stressful job out of 26 occupations analysed.   The study found that only ambulance drivers experienced higher levels of stress than teachers.

Severity of Stress Levels

The notion that ‘some stress is good for you’ has been rightly discredited.   Stress is always a sign that there is an underlying problem in need of resolution - it is never a positive indicator.   The fact, however, that many people experience some form of occupational stress can lead to misunderstandings - and even a lack of sympathy - when stress occurs in its more severe forms.   So when statistics about stress are being discussed, it is important to get an idea not just of:

• how many people have experienced any form of occupational stress; but also of

• how bad that stress has been for them; and

• what proportion of the total have suffered serious levels of stress over the time period being considered.

In this way, statistics show that teachers are not just ‘more likely to be stressed’ than other, comparable workers, but also that they are more likely to be more stressed than their counterparts, even compared with those working in other high-stress professions.   A large-scale HSE report into the scale of occupational stress in 20001...