Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU, said:

“Addressing the mental health crisis in education should be a priority if we are to best serve the interests of the next generation. The pandemic – and the stresses and anxieties experienced by children and families which school staff have had to absorb – have made a bad situation worse. The NEU’s state of education survey shows a worrying rise in the number of teachers intending to leave the profession. Members tell us that high workload and workplace stress are significant contributors. Over half (52%) of teachers say their workload is either ‘unmanageable’ or ‘unmanageable most of the time’, up from 35% in 2021. Two-thirds of teachers feel stressed at least 60% of the time. 

“Rather than listening to the concerns of hard-working professionals, Ministers have instead come up with their recently published education white paper. While their proposals are couched as an attempt to ‘support’ schools and promote excellence in teaching most of the proposals will in fact intensify the pressures on – and ranking and labelling of – leaders, teachers, and young people. After what leaders and staff have contributed during the pandemic, the White Paper is a huge missed opportunity.

“We must value the people who work in schools and colleges if we are to deliver the best possible education for all children and young people.” 


Note to editors

We are currently in Bournemouth for our Annual Conference (11-14 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.  

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 07879 480 061. You can also email the press officer at  

Our conference agenda is available here

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU2022 

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe. 
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. 

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.