Suffolk: Teacher ‘not surprised’ at levels of stress

AN EXPERIENCED secondary school teacher and EADT columnist has attributed the high levels of stress among teachers to poor pupil behaviour and the ever-changing curriculum being they have to cover.

Simon Warr has been in education for nearly 30 years and currently teaches languages and drama at the independent Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, in Ipswich.

He said he did not blame staff members at some schools who “found it hard to get out of bed” in the morning to face unruly pupils and had heard all sorts of horror stories from the state sector.

He said: “The main issue is discipline and teaching now, from when I started in the 1980s, has changed remarkably.

“Whereas once a teacher had automatic respect, now we don’t get that. A lot of children have an inflated sense of their own importance and will challenge a teacher on every decision and will not do what they are told.

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“The discipline is a major problem in many schools and it’s scaring off good graduates from coming into the profession and I and I can understand some teachers not wanting to come into work when they are at war with the children.”

Mr Warr, who has written the Warr Zone column in the Saturday edition of the EADT since 2007, said “interference” from the Government was also a big factor, but an issue that had been affecting teacher for many years.

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He said: “There’s constant change in the curriculum and constant change in the syllabus so we are never given more than a couple of years on a settled course without it being changed.

“I have felt the pressure this year and they have changed the format with the controlled assessment. Courses changing so regularly is a source of disquiet for a number of teachers. Interference is a hindrance.”

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