'Impossible pressures' blamed for the 47 Sheffield teachers on long-term stress leave

Over 40 teachers in Sheffield have gone on long-term stress leave in the past 12 months, new figures have revealed.
Over 40 teachers in Sheffield have gone on long-term stress leave in the past 12 months, new figures have revealed.
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Over 40 teachers in Sheffield have gone on long-term stress leave in the past 12 months, new figures have revealed.

A freedom of information request revealed how a total of 47 teachers in Sheffield had been on long-term, defined as for a month or more, in 2016-17.

The request also showed that the borough's 2,091 teachers took a total number of 8,451 days out of work for stress and mental health reasons, during the same period.

Almost 300,000 days have been taken off by teachers for stress and mental health reasons in Yorkshire in the past four years, including over 67,000 in 2016/17.

Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, commented: “These figures lay bare the impossible pressures our teachers are being put under.

“It is simply unacceptable that those working tirelessly to do the best for our children are seeing their mental ill-health affected as a result.

“I’ve heard story after story of teachers experiencing 'burn out' due to factors including work-load or mishandled Ofsted inspections. But these are no longer just the rare or most extreme cases - they are increasingly common.

“This must be wake-up call to the new Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

"Stress and anxiety are fuelling the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, but the government’s current approach is making matters worse.

“We need fundamental reform of assessments and inspections in our schools, which are two of the greatest sources of anxiety for teachers.

“It is completely wrong that teachers are made to feel that they will be judged a success or a failure based on a single bad inspection or a class that doesn't perform as well as expected.

“The Government must also end the real-term cuts to pay for teachers that are leaving them feeling overworked and undervalued."