HUNDREDS of young teachers have said mental health concerns could force them to leave the profession.

A survey of 3,000 young teachers found almost half were considering leaving the profession as a result of an ‘excessive workload driven by increasingly irrelevant accountability measures’.

The National Union of Teachers survey found 83 per cent found administrative tasks added to their workload and did not contribute to the teaching of children while 77 per cent said their morale had declined since they started the job.

More than 70 per cent were working 51 hours or more a week while 85 per cent said they found it very difficult to keep a reasonable work/life balance.

Just under half said they thought they would leave the profession within five years and nearly 50 per cent cited concerns about the effect of teaching on their mental health.

Simon Jones, Lancashire representative for the NUT, said: “The NUT encourages young teachers to know their rights and to be confident to say that a 50-hour working week is not acceptable.

“Mental wellbeing is a key issue for young teachers and a decent work/life balance is therefore essential to facilitating good mental health.

“Young teachers are the future of the profession yet many talented and enthusiastic professionals are being driven away from teaching to the detriment of our children’s education.

“The Government needs to accept its responsibility."