One in three teachers in Malta reporting severe stress and dissatisfaction with pay

Maltese teachers among the most stressed and least satisfied with their pay, with 29% reporting experiencing a lot of stress

Maltese teachers in secondary schools tend to be the youngest in Europe but also among the most stressed and least satisfied with their pay, a report by the Eurodice network shows.

The report ‘Teachers in Europe: Careers, Development and Wellbeing’, a survey conducted in 2018, indicates that one major cause of stress for Maltese teachers is that of conforming with changes enacted by the authorities.

46.3% of Maltese teachers in the early secondary school years are under 35 years of age – the highest percentage in the 39 countries assessed in the report. 

Only 12.4% of Maltese teachers at this level are over 55. Only Turkey had a lower percentage of over-55s (6.3%).

Maltese teachers were also the fourth most likely among the European countries surveyed to report experiencing “quite a lot of stress”. Nearly two thirds (64%) of Maltese teachers in lower secondary schools reported some form of stress, with 29% reporting experiencing a lot of stress.

Moreover a stress index assessing different factors, including mental and physical health, shows that Maltese teachers are the fifth most stressed in Europe.

Throughout Europe, almost 50% of lower secondary school teachers experience stress at work. In 12 education systems, including Malta, more than 50% of teachers report experiencing stress ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a lot’. In Portugal, almost 90% of teachers reported being stressed, as did 70% of teachers in Hungary and the United Kingdom.

In Belgium, Malta and Iceland, the share of teachers experiencing ‘a lot’ of stress is 10 percentage points higher than in the EU.

At the other end of the spectrum are teachers working in Romania and Turkey, where only one out of five teachers reported experiencing stress at work.

More than 60% of Maltese teachers experienced stress due to changing requirements from the authorities. ‘Keeping up with changing requirements from authorities’ was the fourth most reported source of stress in the countries surveys. In the Netherlands, fewer than 20 % of teachers are concerned by this, while in France, Malta, Lithuania and Portugal more than 60 % of teachers reported this kind of stress.

The report also shows that Maltese teachers are among the least satisfied with their pay, with only 18% saying that they are satisfied. It also shows that Maltese teachers spend 18% of their time planning lessons which is one of the highest in the countries surveyed.