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Teachers took 50,000 stress days in Wales last year

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

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WELSH unions are calling for action on classroom stress-related sick leave.

Teaching union NUT Cymru says more than 50,000 teaching days were lost last year as a result of workload pressures and the environment in which teachers have to work.

Now the Wales TUC has approved a motion by the union calling on the Welsh Government and local councils to work together to tackle the causes of stress-related illnesses in school.

Owen Hathway, policy officer with NUT Cymru, said: "This is a serious problem that has not been given the attention it deserves in recent years.

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"We are seeing some fantastic teachers lost to the profession, either temporarily or permanently, due to stress-induced illness.

"This is not to mention those teachers who remain in post but whose work suffers as a result of draining mental health worries.

"The ongoing pressures placed on teachers, who on average are working anything up to 60-hour weeks, are unsustainable. Not only is this having a huge negative impact on pupils and teachers, but it is also costing millions."

He added: "This is a prime example of the need to invest to save."

The figures for days-off came from Freedom of Information requests to the 22 Welsh councils, which showed that during 2013 some 50,277 teaching days were lost to stress-related illness.

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