Teachers are heroes says top comedian | Education Support Partnership

Teachers are heroes says top comedian

Comedian Russell Howard’s has a new series on Sky 1. This week he talks about how hard teachers work and why we must trust and appreciate them more.

Russell spent some time with primary school kids and said it must be great being a teacher, “hanging out with funny kids, watching their minds grow and playing a vital role in society.”

But he was shocked to find out how stressful the job actually is. He quoted figures from our recently published 2017 Health Survey to highlight the issue:

  • 75% of 1,250 school and college staff and leaders surveyed told us they had experienced psychological, physical or behavioural symptoms  because of work
  • 53% said they have considered leaving the sector in the past two years due to pressures on their health.
  • 19% said they had experienced panic attacks
  • 56% had suffered from insomnia and difficulties sleeping
  • 41% had experienced difficulty concentrating

Warning: Video clip features strong language


He also talks about the increase in class sizes and the behaviour issues that teachers are dealing with as factors that are causing stress and anxiety. Some teachers are also being abused online by both parents and students.

In addition to all this, teachers have had a real terms pay cut of 12% in the last 10 years.

Despite it all he says our teachers are selfless heroes who are vital to our kids. “They are looking after our children so why aren’t we looking after them?” he asks.

We are used to hearing all the criticism from outside the sector about how easy teaching is with short working hours and long holidays.  It’s so refreshing to hear someone talking about the realities of teaching and how great our teachers are despite the challenges they face. Thanks Russell!