TEACHERS are suffering with poor mental health as a result of financial pressures.

A study by education technology specialist, Wand Education, found 37 per cent of UK primary and secondary school teachers feel the negative effects of excessive workload on mental wellbeing.

It comes after news that more than 5,000 headteachers will march in Downing Street in September to protest against government cuts.

Stuart Hales, chief executive officer at Wand Education, said: “Everything comes down to funding but the Government has overlooked the needs of our education system for too long.

“Teachers are burning out. A quarter are forced to work every evening and weekend, just to keep up with Ofsted expectations.

“But funding cuts across the board are leaving leadership teams unable to invest in the tools and technology that could help – and so the vicious cycle continues.

“Schools need more support, and quickly.”

Colchester councillor Julie Young tabled a motion with Essex County Council to call for more Government funding.

She said: “Teachers have a really important job and we need them to be in a position to function well.

“All of us struggle when we don’t get that work-life balance correct.

“If schools are losing class assistants like they are at Prettygate Infant School there will be additional pressures on teachers.”

She said teachers do not have it as easy as people think. She added: “I think there is a perception sometimes teachers have an easy life, they finish at 3pm and they get lots of holidays, but in my experience as a result of the constraints on funding we have found teachers are going into the classrooms during the summer holidays and are often doing general maintenance like painting their classrooms.”

Colchester MP Will Quince presented a schools funding petition to the Government with signatures from nine primary schools.

The Gazette is backing the fight for a commitment of at least 15 per cent more funding per school from the Government when its spending review takes place this autumn.

That is the equivalent of £218,00 per school, with some needing as much as £500,000.

In the past four years £134 million has been cut from Essex schools alone in real terms, taking in account inflation, pension commitments and rising staffing costs.

Among the worst hit in Colchester is The Gilberd School, which has seen real term funding slashed by £1.5 million since 2015, while St Helena School has lost £1.2 million.

  • To sign the online petition to lobby Education Secretary Damian Hinds, go to bit.ly/2Y4XUoR. So far, more than 2,500 people have signed up.