(UK) 'Ticking time bomb' of teacher stress; "mental health issues" affect kids and teachers

Aug 4, 2018, Yorkshire Post: Stress mounting in classrooms, teacher warns Schools are facing a “ticking time bomb” over mental health pressures, teachers have warned, calling for urgent reform in the classroom to ease mounting pressures. A relentless system of “nonsensical” tests and checks is adding to the strain on overstretched teachers, the assistant head of an inner-city Leeds primary school has said. And with the potential impact on young children’s education and wellbeing, Kauser Jan adds, it creates a “vicious cycle” of poor mental health fuelling a crisis among young people. “The reality is that more teachers are leaving the profession than are coming in, because of stress and workload,” she said. “It worries me, for the future of education. … They were having panic attacks at the thought of going to school, that they aren’t good enough, that they can’t do what they are supposed to do. “That’s awful. That feeds down to the children. We’ve got a vicious cycle – children with mental health issues, teachers with mental health issues, leaders with mental health issues. “It’s a ticking time-bomb. The Government needs to sit down and listen.” Research by teachers’ union Nasuwt, carried out earlier this year, showed that 77 per cent of teachers in Yorkshire had experienced a rise in workplace stress in the past 12 months, with 85 per cent saying their job has impacted negatively on their health and wellbeing. … “The causes of this epidemic of teacher stress are no mystery. It is the ever increasing workloads teachers are expected to shoulder and the excessive freedoms and flexibilities given to employers which has led to teachers’ rights being undermined and a growth in adverse management practices. … For the children, there were daily ‘stress buster’ workshops ahead of Sats exams, with play therapy and sensory rooms set up as a safe haven for students. In Bradford, Dixons Marchbank Primary Academy held a mental health awareness day to boost the wellbeing of pupils and staff, even devising a home-school agreement with parents to help young people in their own environment….