Teacher stress sees rising compensation claims

Teacher stress sees rising compensation claims

Workers compensation claims lodged by burnt-out teachers in the Hunter and Central Coast regions over the past 18 months has totalled millions of dollars, a freedom of information request from the Department of Education has shown.

The revelation follows a national survey of Australian teachers earlier this year which showed increased workloads was causing many teachers to consider leaving the profession.

The data, acquired by The Daily Telegraph from the Department of Education, showed 60 workers compensation claims lodged by teachers in the region, totalling $3.8m. Figures for the six months to June showed 22 claims were lodged, worth more than $700,000.

The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) said the data shows the sheer level of stress that teachers face on a daily basis.

NSWTF Hunter spokesman, Jack Galvin-Waight, told the ABC that “significant workload issues” had been reported to the Federation by principals and teachers.

"Principals and teachers are reporting to us significant workload issues which contribute to stress in the workplace," Galvin-Waight said.

"I think it is very important that teachers are supported. The Gonski reforms are very important but also the department providing the appropriate resources and support for our teachers and our students."

Galvin-Waight said action should be taken to decrease the burgeoning workloads of teachers.

"Teaching is a rewarding profession but like all professions there are some difficulties," Galvin-Waight said.

"We're quite concerned that the Department is not paying enough attention to workload issues. What is of particular concern to the Federation is cutbacks to regional and head office support and this has dramatically increased workloads."