Female primary teachers have higher risk of suicide, statistics show

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that women teaching in primary schools are 42 per cent more likely to commit suicide.

The data shows a breakdown of suicide figures by occupation and and found that there was 2,544 suicides among women in England between 2011 and 2015 and of these, 102 were primary or nursery teachers.

Fewer suicides were reported among women in secondary education, which means that the overall risk of suicide for female teachers was 31 per cent lower than the national average for women in England.

The report also reveals that there were 139 suicides among teaching and education professionals between 2011 and 2015.

Male teachers were less likely to be at risk of suicide.

Nansi Ellis, assistant general secretary for policy at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “The statistics give a hard edge to the stories we hear time and again from our members - that they are exhausted from the constant stress of never feeling they are on top of their workload and that they feel expected to devote every minute of their lives to their work.

“It is shocking to see that female primary teachers have a suicide risk that is 42% above the average. While this report doesn’t attempt to explain why the risk is so high, that this toxic mix could be leading to an increase in suicides is a scandal.”

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