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Teaching is considered to be the UK’s most stressful profession, a new survey by Waterfall Spa has revealed.

Around 40 per cent of people surveyed by the luxury ladies only spa, which is based in Leeds, believe teachers to be under the most pressure at work - ahead of professions such as police, doctors and air traffic controllers.

Far from the view that teachers have it too easy with six weeks of holiday every summer, those surveyed cited factors such as disruptive and unruly pupils, long working hours and pressure to attain ever higher exam grades as some of the most likely causes of stress in the job.

Pamela Petty, managing director of Waterfall Spa, said: “Previous research at the spa showed that a high percentage of our customers note stress as their reason for visiting us and we wanted to find out which professions people view as the most stressful.

“Teaching was the overwhelming top choice and we have certainly seen evidence that teachers are more stressed than ever with far more female teachers choosing to visit us over the school holidays.”

Although stress is a serious problem for all teachers, with one in three taking sick leave as a result of stress, female teachers can be more susceptible to stress than their male counterparts as they struggle to cope with the demands of their varying roles as wives, mothers and teachers.

The difficulties of juggling these roles can leave women with no time to focus on their own needs which can lead to problems with health and their relationships.

Chris Keates from the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: “These findings are no surprise to the NASUWT and they confirm the results of a recent survey of NASUWT members when 81% reported that they were suffering from work related stress.

“The NASUWT supports the workload reforms presently being introduced in schools and colleges which, if properly implemented, should relieve some of the work related stress experienced by teachers.”

Case Study

Geography teacher, Suzy Pugh, has been teaching for 6 years and says that she can see why people see hers as being the most stressful profession.

Following a summer break largely spent writing lesson plans and worrying about exam results, Mrs Pugh will be returning to The Giles School & Sixth Form in Boston this September for her 6th year teaching 11-16 students.

She says: “After university I trained as a teacher because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of young people, and hopefully pass on some of my enthusiasm for geography.

“There's no doubt teaching is very rewarding and I wouldn’t want to do anything else but I can understand how such a high percentage of people would perceive teaching to be the most stressful profession.

“As a teacher you are very aware of the impact you have on your pupils and you never seem to be able to put in as many hours as you’d like which can cause a great deal of stress.

“It can be difficult to manage the work load and I have certainly heard of cases where teachers have had to stay up until 2am to finish marking assignments.

“I think stress levels differ between schools and from teacher to teacher and I know that I’m lucky to work at a well regarded school where I’m fully supported by my colleagues.

“But even then, it is so important to take time out for yourself – even something simple like pampering yourself with a day at a spa once in a while can really help make you feel human again.”


For further information, case studies or high-res images contact:

Elizabeth Murphy Beattie Communications 0161 932 1162 / 07821 781 733

Editors notes:

Waterfall Spa in Leeds is the first ladies only spa outside of London offering the perfect escape from the trappings of day to day life with the chance to relax and be pampered in luxurious surroundings.

For more information visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Beattie Communications (Manchester) in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit