School stress is making pupils suicidal, union says

School stress is making pupils suicidal, union says

A survey by the National Education Union (NEU) has revealed that nearly half of education staff say secondary pupils have been suicide due to pressures at school.

The research also found that 81 per cent of those in secondary schools reported that pupils are self-harming as a result of pressures they face.

The survey of 730 education staff working found that more than half (56 per cent) of pupils’ mental health issues are leading to self-harm.

In addition, 45 per cent reported pupils having eating disorders, and 48 per cent said children were having panic attacks.

One respondent from West Sussex said: “I have several students who were high achievers at GCSE and who are virtually unable to sit in a lesson and concentrate due to severe stress. I have at least one student who has attempted suicide and others with a variety of mental health issues.”

Almost seven-in-ten (68 per cent) of respondents said they believe their school or college is having to deal with more pupil mental health issues than five years ago, and a third (34 per cent ) said pupils are dealing with significantly more than one year ago.

Eighty-two per cent of respondents believe that tests and exams have the biggest impact on the mental health of pupils.

Sixty-seven per cent said they feel it is due to pressure from schools to do well; 50 per cent said it was due to a narrowing of the curriculum, and 48 per cent said it was due to the pressure they put on themselves to do well academically.

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