HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 cc132-3W
Linda Perham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action she has taken to combat work-related stress in the teaching profession. [45830]

Mr. Timms

We have taken a number of steps designed to ease the work pressures of teachers. We have asked the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) to make recommendations on workload by the end of April, taking into account the independent study of workload we commissioned last year from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The STRB report will cover a range of possible contractual changes, including whether it is possible to move to a meaningful guarantee of professional time for teachers and headteachers.

Extra money in school budgets will provide 10,000 more teachers, 20,000 more support staff and 1,000 more trained bursars over the lifetime of this Parliament. We have announced a £4 million project for 30 schools to try new approaches to the deployment of teachers, support staff and ICT to reduce workload. We have also allocated an extra £50 million for capital projects to improve staff workspaces.

We recognise that poor behaviour is a major contributor to teacher stress. We are developing a number of measures to tackle this—including a consultation on new guidance on exclusions that will lead to improvements that could remove a significant barrier to effective teaching and learning.

We have supported the setting-up of an independent 24-hour telephone counselling helpline for teachers, operated by the "teacher support network".