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Nearly a quarter of teachers use alcohol to cope with stresses of the job, survey suggests | UK News

Almost nine in 10 teachers believe their job has adversely affected their mental health in the past 12 months, according to a survey.

Nearly a quarter of teachers had used alcohol in an effort to cope, while 12% have used antidepressants, the poll of 11,574 NASUWT teaching union members found.

Some 3% said the stresses of their work had driven them to self-harm.

One of the teachers who responded to the survey said they vomited before work and had cried at school due to “badly behaved students” who left them unable to teach a class.

Another said: “My energy levels have never been this low before.

“I have never felt so anxious and have very little confidence in myself.

“I feel as though my bucket is full most of the time at work and that I maybe can’t deal with challenging pupils as well as I would normally.”

The teaching union warned of a “rise in suicide, suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts” within the profession, with a motion on the topic to be debated at its national conference this weekend.

The motion calls for suicide prevention training for school leaders, and fully-funded mandatory mental health training in schools and colleges.

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Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Nobody should be brought to the brink of ending their own life because of their job.

“We need a two-pronged approach to addressing the epidemic of mental ill health among the teaching profession, which both tackles the factors driving work-related stress, while also putting in place greater support systems for teachers and school leaders.”

He also said teachers need better welfare support, adding: “The status quo is not an option.

“Too many teachers are having their health destroyed and others are leaving the profession in a bid to save their sanity.

“There is no intrinsic reason why teaching should have such high levels of burnout. Things can and should be different and we need the next government to work with us to restore teaching to a profession where teachers can thrive, not just struggle to survive.”

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It comes after the suicide of headteacher Ruth Perry, who killed herself after an Ofsted report downgraded her school – Caversham Primary in Reading – from its highest rating to its lowest over safeguarding concerns.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We recognise the extraordinary work that headteachers, teachers and other staff in schools provide, and we take their wellbeing very seriously.

“Our Education Staff Wellbeing Charter ensures that staff wellbeing policy is integrated within schools’ culture alongside the expansion of our £2m investment to provide professional supervision and counselling to school and college leaders.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

Edinburgh care worker receives warning for going to work twice under the influence of alcohol | UK News

A care worker has been reprimanded for drinking alcohol hidden in a water bottle while on duty and later falling asleep on shift.

Sinead Collins has received a two-year warning on her registration for turning up to a residential care home twice under the influence of alcohol.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) said her bad behaviour occurred in June 2020 and December 2022 while working in Edinburgh as a deputy service manager at Share Scotland.

The SSSC found Collins’ fitness to practise impaired.

In a written ruling, the SSSC said: “During the first occasion, you proceeded to drink alcohol disguised in a water bottle while in your place of work.

“You also fell asleep while on shift and neglected your duties to the residents within the service.

“You put residents at risk of unnecessary harm, and it was only due to the actions of your colleagues that meant you were not allowed to work alone with residents and were in fact sent home.

“Acting in such a way falls below the standard that is expected of social service workers.”

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The SSSC said Collins had a good employment history but had not shown any insight or regret and had failed to apologise for her behaviour.

The care watchdog stated Collins had shown “poor judgment”, adding: “You abused the trust placed in you by your employer and the residents by attempting to work while you were under the influence of alcohol.”

The 24-month warning came into effect on Thursday.

Alcohol duty freeze extended until August 2023, govt confirms | UK News

Alcohol duty rates will be frozen for a further six months until August 2023, the government has confirmed.

Announcing the move in the Commons, Treasury minister James Cartlidge said it is hoped the extension will “provide certainty and reassure pubs, distilleries and breweries as they face a challenging period ahead”.

Alcohol levies were due to be hiked on 1 February following the reversal of most of the Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget, but Mr Cartlidge said that this year the duty rates decision will be held until Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivers his spring budget on 15 March 2023.

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Mr Cartlidge made clear that if any changes to alcohol duty are announced at the spring budget, they will not take effect until 1 August 2023.

Alcohol duty was due to rise by Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation in February. RPI inflation was 14% in November.

“Today’s announcement reflects this government’s commitment to responsible management of the UK economy and supporting hospitality through a challenging winter,” the Treasury minister said.

“The alcohol sector is vital to our country’s social fabric and supports thousands of jobs – we have listened to pubs, breweries and industry reps concerned about their future as they get ready for the new, simpler, alcohol tax system taking effect from August.

“That’s why we have acted now to give maximum certainty to industry and confirmed there will be just one set of industry-wide changes next summer.”

The British Beer and Pub Association welcomed the decision to extend the freeze on beer duty.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The decision to extend the freeze on beer duty will be welcomed by pubs and brewers alike. In 2022 our industry has faced pressures and challenges like never before.

“This freeze will allow £180 million to be reinvested into our sector at a critical moment and inject a much-needed flurry of festive cheer for pubs and breweries. It shows the government understands just how much our pubs and brewers mean to communities across the UK.”

But shadow treasury minister Abena Oppong-Asare told the Commons it is “laughable” the government announced a six-month extension to the alcohol duty freeze in the name of certainty.

“We should call it what it is: it is a U-turn. The previous chancellor announced a freeze, the current chancellor scrapped it, and now it’s back on. How did we get here?” she said.

Ms Oppong-Asare also accused the government of having “no long-term plan for the British economy”.

At the autumn budget in 2021, the government announced its intention to reform alcohol duty by adopting a “common sense approach” where the higher a drink’s strength, the higher the duty.

The government also said it will introduce new reliefs to help pubs and small producers thrive.

These reforms are due to take effect from 1 August 2023.

200 bottles of alcohol confiscated to stop revellers using beauty spot ‘like Ibiza nightclub’ | UK News

Hundreds of bottles and cans of alcohol have been confiscated by police to stop drinkers using a North Yorkshire beauty spot “like an Ibiza nightclub”.

Crowds of revellers on the UK’s hottest-ever day flocked to Richmond Falls where officers seized several big sound systems and large canisters of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, which are sometimes used to get high.

They also took away 200 bottles of beer, cider, vodka and other spirits on Tuesday.

Some local residents were concerned about antisocial behaviour linked to hot weather, according to North Yorkshire Police.

North Yorkshire police

The force said they dispersed five men from Middlesbrough because they were behaving antisocially and arrested a youth from County Durham on suspicion of assault following a disturbance.

Inspector Martin Metcalfe said: “Residents quite rightly don’t want their town to be used like an Ibiza nightclub and we’re doing something about it.

“As temperatures soared well into the 30s yesterday and hundreds congregated at Richmond Falls, my team and I took action to prevent crime and antisocial behaviour as well as all the litter and mess this leaves behind.”

He added: “We simply will not tolerate antisocial behaviour, which is often committed by large groups who travel in from other areas and behave with no respect for the community they’re visiting. And yesterday we used public space legislation to tackle it.”

Eighteen traffic offence reports were issued to those travelling to and from the area, including for not wearing a seatbelt and for causing an obstruction when parked.

North Yorkshire police

Seven barbecues were also put out because of the dry and dangerous conditions.

Police said the owners of the sound systems were able to get them back from a police station at the end of the day and “were given words of advice about using them in public places”.