By Melissa Clark
ALMOST 1400 Scottish teachers have phoned a specialist phone line to help deal with stress over the past two years.
The number of issues reported to Teacher Support Network more than doubled between 2010 and 2011 from 675 to 1389.
Lack of control in the classroom and uncertainties surrounding job security were among the reasons for the calls.
Anxiety, sleeplessness and the breakdown of relationships also contributed to the concerns raised.
Julian Stanley, chief executive of Teacher Support Network, said: “Staff are under unprecedented professional and personal pressure.
“We know they are already faced with issues such as workload, structural change, a new curriculum and fear of redundancy, but they are also contending with the same issues we all must deal with such as concerns about money, health and relationships.
“The importance of this is that if a teacher is having a difficult time it can affect hundreds of pupils and their futures.”
The charity is launching a new range of services to try and help the problem.
This includes money management services with debt counselling, welfare benefit checks, an online budgeting tool and information services.
Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland said: “The current budget-cutting agenda facing schools has only increased pressure on teachers, with sharp declines in both teacher and support staff numbers stretching teaching to the limit.
“Stress-related illness is a real problem for the teaching profession, so employers must act to ensure that both teachers’ health and well-being, and the educational experience of pupils, are properly supported.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said they expected councils to “take appropriate action at local level to minimise the risk of stress or injury and any related claims through their own local health and safety procedures for staff and pupils”.