Jump in teachers in Tower Hamlets taking stress leave

Stress leave taken by teachers in Tower Hamlets during the past three years has increased at a faster rate than in any other UK local authority which published figures.

The number of teachers in the borough taking time off for stress jumped from 16 in 2008/9 to 102 in 2011/12 – an increase of more than 500 per cent.

Of the 66 local authorities which responded to a freedom of information request, Tower Hamlets saw the sharpest rise.

Alex Kenny, who is branch secretary for the National Union of Teachers in Tower Hamlets said the problems facing teachers were exacerbated in inner city areas.

“Teaching is very stressful wherever you do it – it’s a very demanding job”, he said.

“In Tower Hamlets that’s possibly exacerbated. It’s one of the poorest boroughs in the country and we are teaching some of the most vulnerable children, and that’s not the children’s fault but it places extra demands on teachers.”