Seven out of 10 teachers want to quit, survey shows

Tories promise more powers to deal with badly behaved children as study finds that classroom stress is at an all-time high

Seven out of 10 teachers said they have considered quitting because of badly behaved pupils, as Michael Gove, the Education Secretary announced that the "no touch" rules around children in the classroom will be scrapped.

A survey of teachers found that more than 90 per cent believe classroom behaviour has worsened during their careers, more than a third took time off work, over 40 per cent tried to move to another school, while 81.2 per cent experienced stress, anxiety or depression.

The 2010 Behaviour Survey interviewed more than 350 teachers. A third of teachers also think they should be given powers to search pupils for pornography, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, with 42 per cent saying powers to search for stolen property and threatening objects were essential. The survey was conducted by the Teacher Support Network (TSN) Parentline Plus and the National Union of Teachers (NUT)

Julian Stanley, TSN's chief executive, said: We know from the marked increase in the use of our behaviour-related services over the past year, that poor behaviour is at the heart of many teachers' health and wellbeing issues. We are concerned that poor behaviour is leading some great teachers to leave the profession. Parents and teachers need to work together to create safe, respectful schools, where teachers, and by extension their children, can reach their full potential."

The survey comes as Mr Gove said the coalition government planned to give teachers a right to anonymity when faced with allegations from pupils. He also likened the current 1,000-page regulations to a copy of War and Peace.

He said: "I don't believe you should be able to hit children, but I do believe teachers need to know they can physically restrain children, they can interpose themselves between two children that may be causing trouble, and they can remove them from the classroom. The important thing is that teachers know they are in control, and this department and the justice system will back them."

However, some teachers queried Mr Gove's pronouncement, saying appropriate force could always be used to restrain a child if they are a danger to themselves or others.

Louise Purnell, 36, primary school supply teacher from Surrey

"The behaviour can be challenging even in primary schools. What's most important is having back-up from the school, other teachers and the head, and knowing that there is a clear behaviour policy. I've had some tough days when I wondered whether it was worth it: I've have had situations that got to me and I found it very stressful, but I don't regret going into teaching. The support is key. As long as the support is there, then it's fine.

"This is the most challenging job I've ever had. It can be emotionally draining when there are behaviour issues if teachers are not properly supported. Children and young people often try to push the boundaries and it's a teacher's job to give them those boundaries. Children need that.

"Training is very important. While there's nothing like hands-on experience to develop ways of managing behaviour that are positive, you need good teacher training."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

Recruitment Genius: Nursery Practitioner - Faringdon

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunity for you to jo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Developer - Cirencester - £29,000

£25000 - £29000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have be...

Recruitment Genius: Primary School Sports Coach

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Calling all talented Level 2 qu...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project