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Nottingham City Schools Health and Safety Conference 22 nd March 2012 Tackling Stress – Stress Management Toolkit John Illingworth Nottingham City NUT.

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Presentation on theme: "Nottingham City Schools Health and Safety Conference 22 nd March 2012 Tackling Stress – Stress Management Toolkit John Illingworth Nottingham City NUT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nottingham City Schools Health and Safety Conference 22 nd March 2012 Tackling Stress – Stress Management Toolkit John Illingworth Nottingham City NUT Health and Safety Adviser

2 In this presentation : What is Stress? The impact of stress in the workplace What causes stress in the workplace? How should schools respond to stress? What does the law require of employers? Practical steps in tackling stress. The benefits of tackling stress.

3 What is Stress ? Stress is not the same as pressure Stress is not good for you or a motivator Stress is not an illness

4 HSE Definition of Stress “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.” Although stress itself is not a disease, it is recognised that excessive or prolonged stress can be a cause of mental and physical illness.

5 The impact of stress in the workplace HSE research has found that one in five people – an estimated 5 million workers – is ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed at work, and that stress, anxiety and depression nationally lead to more than 12 million lost working days each year. The International Labour Organisation has estimated that the cost of stress to the British economy amounts to over ten per cent of its Gross National Product (GNP). Over the past ten years, studies have consistently found that teachers are amongst the most stressed workers in Britain. Around half of all ill-health retirements take place for stress/psychiatric illness.

6 Continued: Between 2003 and 2006 the Office for National Statistics reported that the highest levels of occupational stress, depression or anxiety were amongst teachers and were double the level for ‘all occupations’. Teaching was rated the most stressful occupation by HSE in 2000 (42% of teachers highly stressed at work compared with 20% in population as a whole). You Gov research in 2007 found that stress had led to half of all teachers considering leaving the profession. A survey of London teachers in 2006 found that four-fifths envisaged stress causing them to leave in the future.

7 Continued: Half of all new teachers entering the profession leave within 5 years. Surveys of those leaving teaching identify stress as the predominant cause. Suicide rates amongst teachers are 40% higher than within the population as a whole. (Source: Samaritans) Teacher suicides doubled between 2008 and 2009 and although they fell slightly in 2010 there is a clear upward trend since (Source ONS)

8 What causes stress in the workplace? Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards : The Demands of your job. Your Control over your work. The Support you receive from managers and colleagues. Your Relationships at work. Your Role in the organisation. Change and how it is managed.

9 Potential symptoms of stress PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL SleeplessnessAcute anxiety NauseaFeeling isolated Migraine/severe headaches Loss of confidence/self esteem PalpitationsDepression Skin complaintsPanic attacks Sweating/shakingAnger Stomach problemsMood swings BackacheLack of motivation Loss of appetiteSuicidal thoughts Lethargy

10 How should schools respond to work-stress? Make reducing stress a priority. Don’t blame the victims for their own stress. Don’t excuse stress as being inevitable. Don’t deny work-related causes. Make sure staff are equipped to tackle stress (especially those who manage others) Prevention is better than treatment.

11 “ For some the way to deal with work related stress is to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate people who experience it. For others, it is economically and morally preferable to assess and repair the failed work system or organisation. This action reduces the risk of future failure and the likelihood of future work-related ill-health. This approach focuses attention on the antecedents of work related stress in the design and management of work – but recognises that interventions at the individual level have a part to play.” (HSE)

12 What does the law require of employers? What do employers have to do? Assess the risk Make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. Identify and implement control measures. Record the significant findings of the risk assessment (Source - HSE Website)

13 Is work-stress a serious hazard? There is plenty of evidence that stress causes illness amongst employees. It is thought to be the primary cause of teacher absence. It is often the cause of ending a teacher’s career. In rare cases it can lead to suicide.

14 Practical steps in tackling stress? Create an open climate where reporting and discussion of stress is welcome and ‘safe’. Make sure that school leaders are equipped and determined to tackle stress. Recognise that the stress experienced by senior managers can lead to increased stress for other staff. Conduct a stress audit. Plan action to reduce stress. Review action to see if it is working (at least annually). Re- plan if needed. Respond appropriately to those suffering from stress.

15 The benefits of tackling stress. The legal requirement to tackle stress can help school leaders to resist unreasonable or excessive external demands. The evidence shows that in schools that tackle stress and promote staff wellbeing: –Staff turnover is lower (staff are retained); –Recruitment is easier; –Staff absence levels are lower; –School results are better. (Source: Teacher Wellbeing)

16 Nottingham City Schools Health and Safety Conference 22 nd March 2012 Tackling Stress – Stress Management Toolkit John Illingworth Nottingham City NUT Health and Safety Adviser


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