Teachers need protecting - from each other

2004

Unruly pupils are not the only problem that Britain's teachers have to put up with. According to the Teacher Support Network, conflict with colleagues and bullying from management precipitated twice as many calls to their helpline than problems with pupils.

According to the network, it has been contacted by some 76,000 teachers in England and Wales over the past four years with eight out of ten enquiries coming from women. In 2003, 30,000 teachers – one in every 15 - sought help by phone or online.

Just over one in ten of all contacts were triggered by conflict. In two-thirds of these, conflict with managers, and in a quarter with other colleagues. Most callers to the helpline said they felt stressed, anxious or depressed.

Workload was another problem, accounting for almost one in twenty calls. Pupil behaviour was a problem raised by just over four per cent of callers.

Newly-qualified teachers made up the largest single group of callers, accounting for a fifth of all enquiries.