Are Scottish teachers more stressed and depressed than the rest?


This is a well-worn media scare story to snare the Scot Gov with

Much is currently being made by our NoMedia, fed by Labour and the Lib Dems, of 400 000 workdays lost due to mental health conditions, over three years. Missing, amongst other indicators of quality journalism, has been context – is there anything special about this apparent level of mental health problems at work? Surely, we’d need to know that if we and policy-makers, in particular, are to react appropriately to the ‘news?’

The Mental Health Foundation does not identify any particular occupation as being at increased risk but rather finds that other factors, which can be found across all professions, are more likely to lead to the onset of a mental health problem:


However, when we do look at the relative prevalence of ‘common’ mental disorders in occupational groups we do not find teachers to be significantly more at risk. From a large (5 497 subjects), UK, peer-reviewed, survey in 2009, see this:


On the basis of the above, teaching professionals have only a slightly higher (15%) prevalence than the average (13%) but this is lower than for several others. Notably, the study also found lack of job security, to be a major factor, regardless of occupational role. This is of course not a common risk factor among teachers, in comparison to many other occupations.

Footnote: The absence of separate figures for women teaching professionals and the fact that men had only an average prevalence (13%) probably suggests that the prevalence among women teachers could be higher at around 17%. However, this remains only at the average for women generally.



3 thoughts on “Are Scottish teachers more stressed and depressed than the rest?

  1. gavin January 5, 2019 / 4:03 pm

    In my day (the good ol’ days, apparently) at Cumnock Academy, teachers de-stressed by walloping us weans wi’ big leather belts. Damage done? Zilch! We had a competition to see who could get strapped the most. In a boisterous class of 46 it was fairly competitive.
    However, the best behaved class was history, where the teacher taught by force of personality and respect—no corporal punishment at all.

    I understand the French consider being “spanked, with a cane” (in a sexual context) as the “English Vice”.
    See these nannies and Public Schools? The things we missed out on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 January 5, 2019 / 7:54 pm

      Once Miss Cherry belted the whole class and the tough lads went round for extra goes.


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